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Advertisers spend a lot of money creating brand characters or licencing the rights to use them in ads. But how much is a character worth? And how much should you be paying to have a celeb in your ads?

This was one of the questions that Ipsos set themselves to answer in launching their new Ipsos:Connect digital pre-testing tool. It helps brands optimise their creative to boost attention, recall and sales. And yes, it now includes Lumen eye tracking as standard.  

To help publicise the new product, we have been doing some digging into the extra attention that ads with well known characters receive.  

Take this example for the Halifax. We would expect a DMPU for a finance brand like this to get around 2 seconds attention. In the tests we ran, it got 7.5 seconds attention, almost 4 times the norm.

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The difference is down to Scooby-Doo. The character captures people’s attention quickly and easily, triggering people’s memories of the now-famous TV campaign.

Scooby does the business for Halifax too. The character directs the viewer’s gaze to the logo and key product points in the ad, meaning that the ‘emotional’ side of the ad is directly contributing to the ‘rational’ take out. This isn’t just borrowed interest: this is hardworking advertising.