How to win an award for effective advertising?

Tele2 (Dutch telecom company) wanted to optimise its TV ads to change its brand image. Neuro Ad Testing was used and provided the insights Tele2 needed. It even led to winning the Silver Effie Award: the award for proven effective campaigns. Check out how Neuro Ad Testing made it possible.

Client logos-tele2-white
Techniques used
fMRI Brain Guided Interpretation (BGI)
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"Neuro Ad Testing quickly gave us the insights we needed to optimise our advertising. As a result, we were able to successfully change our image in a short period of time. And, the research has contributed to a nice reward: the award for effective campaigns: Effie behavioural campaign short-term." Machiel van de Poll, Senior Customer Insights Manager, Tele2

Tele2 knows how to make effective ads

Tele2 Reclame-onderzoek Neuromarketing

Background Tele2

In 2016, Tele2 changed its image; from a cheap one to a true value brand. Tele2 did this by positioning itself as a 'Fun Rebel'.

The brand mantra 'not because you need to, but because you can' was introduced. Within no time, the mantra became a colloquial phrase in the Netherlands.

On TV, the hip and funny ads were shown non-stop wherein young people explained exactly what they want to do with their phones.

Research question Tele2

How can we optimise our ads so that we continue to grow and successfully change our brand image? 

How it's studied?

Effective ads work in deep in the brain where emotions are activated and stored.  In turn, these unconscious emotions influence consumer behaviour.

Therefore, an effective ad must activate the right unconscious emotions, which are measured with fMRI.

There are 13 positive and negative unconscious emotions, which are compared to the benchmark of Effective, Likeable and Annoying ads. 

Neurensics tested all ads for Tele2 during a certain period, by using:

  1. fMRI: measuring the unconscious emotions the ads activated by having respondents watch the ads in the MRI scan.

  2. Eye Tracking analysis: measuring which elements in the ads drew attention.

  3. An online questionnaire: used afterwards to better interpret the activated emotions.

The Neuro Ad Test results

Tele2 ad 'because you can'

Tele2 reclame OmdatHetKan Reclame-onderzoek Neurensics


Tele2's first ad, 'Because you can', activated positive emotions (e.g. 'fun') as well as negative emotions (e.g. 'annoyance'). In order to effectively change the image, it was important that the ads activated more positive emotions.

The negative emotions in 'Because you can' were mainly activated by:

  1. The scene where the boy threw the hamster in the air. This activated Anger and Disgust, because it was seen as animal abuse.
  2. The scene where the boy jumps out of the zeppelin without a parachute. Here the emotions Fear and Danger were activated.

Tele2 used these insights to create more detailed briefings for their advertising agency. It immediately showed positive effects in the ads that followed.


Tele2 ad 'Online heroes'


The 'Online heroes' ad scored high on the positive emotions Trust andValue and had no outliers on negative emotions. Especially the social acceptance moments were very well received.

The feedback from the online questionnaire (BGI) gave Tele2 another good insight to improve its effectiveness: the proposition needed to be communicated more clearly.  


Tele2 wins the Silver Effie Award for effective advertising

Tele2 wint zilveren effie 2016 mede door Ad Testing

Tele2 knew exactly how to optimise their ads, due to the use of Neuro Ad Testing. Neurensics tested the introduction ads and the sequels. Partly because of this, Tele2 eventually won the Silver Effie Award in the category 'behavioural campaigns short-term'.

This award goes to short-term impact ads (max 4 months), that have changed consumer behaviour and is reflected and proven by sales results. 

This result shows that ad testing leads to insights which can be used to optimise ads to increase effectiveness.

Benefits of Neuro Ad Testing for Tele2

  1. Tele2 has the tools to make effective ads as they know now which positive emotions the ads need to activate. 

  2. During a short period of time, the continuous ad testing has led to winning the Silver Effie Award in the category 'behavioural campaigns short-term'.

And now you:

  • How do your ads score on the benchmark of Effective, Likeable and Irritating ads?
  • Do you want to make your ads even more effective?

Contact us to discuss the research possibilities.


Feel free to contact us about the research possibilities


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