In God we trust, for everything else brings statistics

As advertisers we can tell an incredibly compelling story by connecting data visually. Some of the world’s most effective Ads are based on statistical insights provided from our client briefs.

Using statistics works in advertising because on a human level we all know how casually throwing out some ‘stats’ can work wonders for validating our firmly held opinions.

Many creative shops shy away from using data in their advertising, always deferring to the big emotional pull. The emotional driver is powerful when deployed correctly, but data has a place in selling too. They are missing that by using data we arm our buyers with tools to validate their buying choices to their peers. This is a genuinely powerful key to persuasion.

“Why did you buy that Renault” – “it does 56 mpg you know…” We’ve all done it.

We intuitively know that we should be skeptical of statistical claims. It’s easy to lie with stats, but it’s even easier to lie without them! Hence why they are so universally adopted. We make our buying choices based upon stats, we make business decisions based upon stats, and countries make policy decisions based upon them.

But we should be wary… Behind the stats there’s often a less than bulletproof argument. This can quickly decimate the effectiveness of our advertising.

Here’s an example of ‘Simpsons Paradox’ for you to ponder…

So use Stats to persuade – they work! However to ensure your work is the best it can be, make sure you look deeply at the data you are provided in your briefs. The data can reveal completely opposing points depending on how the information is grouped. Or, as Winston Churchill eloquently put it “don’t trust any statistics you didn’t fake yourself!”

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