Ad Testing: 72andSunny and the “truth” campaign

Following up to their successful truth campaign, American Legacy Foundation and 2014 Ad Age Agency of the Year, 72&Sunny, needed to test their creative to see what resonated with today’s teens. mindswarms put the new ad concepts in front of the teens, and had them record their responses via smartphones. The results? Positive vibes win out over negativity.

72andSunny, a Los Angeles-based ad agency working with the anti-smoking campaign, truth, used mindswarms to get reactions on three new concepts for teen-targeted anti-smoking ads. truth’s ads of the early 2000s drove a generation of potential smokers to rebel against Big Tobacco. A new generation of teens, however, required a new approach. 72andSunny wanted to field a test of their new campaign before launch.

Mobile Video Surveys

mindswarms mobile video surveys give ad-campaign testers access to high-quality video responses across a wide geographical area without the hassle of traveling. More importantly, they allow direct and intimate entry into the varied world of individual opinion, free from the group-think that’s characteristic of some traditional research methods. Participants respond from the comfort of their own home, while researchers can view responses in between office meetings. With these benefits in mind, 72andSunny partnered with mindswarms to create a survey that would net them the insight they needed to confidently go forward with a bold, new campaign.


In their survey, mindswarms and 72andSunny collected video responses from 42 participants across a carefully curated demographic range in three metropolitan cities – Detroit, Birmingham, and Pittsburgh. Respondents were exposed to the ads and asked to discuss the efficacy and resonance of their messages, and react to the ad campaign as a whole. From the comfort of their homes, respondents provided 60-second answers to 14 thoughtful, pointed questions, generating over 550 minutes of consumer video – video showcasing a degree of personal, private reactions unachievable in focus groups. All possible in a week’s time.


Question responses were reviewable by 72andSunny and mindswarms’ project managers as they filled, meaning that each individual video was accessible after a respondent submitted their responses. Responses filled a shareable matrix for easy viewing, allowing agency planners and clients to watch each respondent’s answers to every question (by row), or to watch each question’s varied answers across respondents (by column). Beyond the stated answers, the nuances in these video responses – of body language and tone of voice — speak volumes, and allow an in-depth analysis beyond that of old-fashioned ad testing.

Nearly tfive hours of unfiltered consumer honesty, and all the richness of its subtlety, were delivered to 72andSunny via a cloud-based study link (each video response including a transcript), giving them the answers they were looking for.

72andSunny’s ads revolved around the concept, „Be the Generation to End Smoking,” and utilized the emphatic tagline, “Finish It.” Included in the campaign was the promotion of shareable content on social media and ads showing how Big Tobacco shamelessly uses celebrity smokers as unpaid advertisers for their product.

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