Choosing Advertising Approaches Between Alternative Storyboards

Category: Automotive Parts Manufacturer
Methods: CopyTest®, Advertising Research

CopyTesting Storyboards


An advertising agency representing a major automotive aftermarket parts manufacturer had developed two different approaches to creating a TV advertisement. Both concepts had been created as storyboards, and they were asked by their client to provide clear rationale for proceeding to finished film with just one of the two. Our client asked us to conduct a study that would determine which of the two ads would be the most effective at communicating the message to their target audience.

Strategic Issues

The client had two different audiences in mind for the research. The first was the do-it-yourself car parts buyer and the second was the do-it-for-me customer, who would have the part installed on their vehicle by a professional installer. Since they could only choose one advertising approach, they needed this ad to be effective in communicating to both of these key audiences.

Additionally, they had been finding that younger audiences were not as loyal to the brand as older-aged cohorts. They wanted the advertising to help them improve their awareness and consideration with younger buyers. So it was important to be able to distinguish the effectiveness of the two ads in communicating key messages to audiences of different age groups.

Research Objectives

The research had to determine the storyboard execution that best communicated product and brand superiority to the target market overall, as well as among the two customer types (do-it-yourself and do-it-for-me) and among four different age cohorts. In addition, our client wanted us to provide diagnostic information for making improvements to the winning ad as it went from storyboard to finished film.

Research Design and Methods

The study was conducted via the Internet using CopyTest®—Decision Analyst’s Internet-based, advertising testing system. The research was conducted as a monadic test, with each respondent evaluating one storyboard execution. A large sample size was drawn to provide analyzable cells by customer type and age group. The data were weighted by age to match the U.S. population.


Our CopyTest® metrics identified the optimal approach from among the two that were being considered. It also provided rich diagnostic information that helped in refining the ad as it was readied for finished film production. Specific cues were recommended to improve the appeal for younger buyers. The ad was aired soon after the research, and both the agency and their client were pleased with its effectiveness.

Automotive Marketing Research

If you would like more information on conducting Automotive Research, Bonnie Janzen, President (, or call 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.