Just did a survey for the Open University. Standard kind of stuff - look at a couple of ads, answer a few questions.
The question as to which one I preferred was very simple - the plain, clean-cut tidy one rather than the messy "creative" one.
But the next question was "How well did these adverts convey [ our key message ]? *blinks* *does double-take, goes back for another look*
Nope. Not getting it. Sorry, either I fail or you do, and it's not me that's spent thousands on developing these ads, so that would be - you.
But at least I got a chance to tell someone about something I've been marvelling at for years:
I tend to hear a lot of ads that I don't actually see, because I'm at the computer while people have got the television on. It's quite amazing the number of ads that don't give any clue in the audio as to what product they are advertising. I asked on my survey form whether advertisers, including the OU, are actively trying to exclude people who don't have good vision, and I asked if they thought that was a good idea, or indeed legal. To me, the audio for the ad they were researching could equally well have been for life insurance, sanitary protection or a new car, and I asked if they thought that was a good idea. I certainly never would have guessed it was for the Open University, and that's the point - why make anyone guess? Why not make it clear? (Unless it's a deliberate teaser of course, which is a different animal altogether).