Ad Concept Testing Research And 3 Examples of How to Do It

The light bulb goes off in your head. This is the golden idea for an advertisement about your company's newest offering. It is engaging, entertaining, and effective all at once. It sounds like a recipe for success!

But wait, what if the message doesn't ultimately resonate with the audience? What if the idea just needs a small tweak? And to top it off, your co-worker just had another great idea that sounds like it could work, too. So, where do you go from here?

Put these concepts to the test. Before you invest any unnecessary time and resources into these ideas, find out which one gives you the best chance to meet your business goals. Ad concept testing allows a company to put several ideas in front of a target audience and get honest reactions to help make decisions.

Ad Concept Testing Research And 3 Examples of How to Do It

You won't be short of options if you are looking to do some ad concept testing. Read below to get a few ideas of effective qualitative and quantitative approaches.

What is Ad Concept Testing?

The easiest way to explain ad concept testing is that it is a way to develop and refine ad campaigns before they go public. As we like to say at Drive Research, it is essentially a test drive.

Using data to select the right campaign is almost sure to save your company money. Asking key questions among the target audience can get you answers about factors like pricing, images, wording, and positioning within the advertising channel. Whether the goal is awareness or conversions, the only way to really know if your ad is compelling enough is to concept test.

Once the feedback is gathered from respondents, an analysis of the data will often reveal a winner to give your campaign the best chance for success. If there are a lot of directions you could go with your campaign, you'll be glad you completed ad concept testing.

1-on-1 Interviews

A detailed way to conduct ad concept testing is via in-depth interviews with a single participant. In these interviews, an ad concept may be presented to the participant in-person as a sample advertisement or read over the phone.

The advantage of this approach to testing is the wealth of information you can collect from following-up on the participant's answers to previous questions. Any response that is particularly interesting can be probed to understand why the participant feels a certain way.

This kind of depth is useful for discovering new ideas to incorporate into the ad campaign. Ads still in the beginning stages of development may be a good fit for 1-on-1 interviews.

Online Surveys

Another way to test potential advertisements is through surveys administered online. Concepts can be easily programmed into a survey as an image, text, or video for the respondent to review.

A benefit of all online surveys, the data gathered from respondents can be measured to give clear, statistically significant results. Ads and ad preferences may be compared across respondent segments, as well.

Consider online surveys for ad concept testing when there are established ideas that can be tested against one another, whether they are all internal ideas or an internal idea vs. a competitor ad.

Focus Groups

A third option for ad concept testing is to conduct focus groups. In this setting, ad concepts would be introduced to a handful of focus group participants by the moderator. Concepts could be included in an activity or displayed on a screen for discussion as a couple of examples.

Similar to the 1-on-1 interviews, focus groups would facilitate interactive conversations about the ad concepts. The benefit to the group dynamic would be how the participants play off of one another and spark ideas about the concepts.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is an ad concept testing market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team works with small and large organizations all across the United States and across the world. We can help you design, field, analyze, and report on an ad concept testing study for your company.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Contact us.

Message us on our website

② Email us at

③ Call us at 888-725-DATA

④ Text us at 315-303-2040

Focus Groups