How Ad Campaigns Piggyback on Habits to Hook You

How Ad Campaigns Piggyback on Habits to Hook You

Students on campus weren’t eating their fruits and veggies. Researcher / author Jonah Berger (from his great book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On) and psychologist Grainne Fitzsimons devised a plan: come up with 2 slogans, survey students to see which they thought would be more effective, then actually measure which was better.

“Live the Healthy Way, Eat Five Fruits and Veggies a Day”

“Each and Every Dining Hall Tray Needs Five Fruits and Veggies a Day”

As you might guess, the second slogan was rated as having the worst chance of success. It’s longer and was seen as “corny”. But for effectiveness? The second slogan saw an uptick of 25% more college students eating fruits and veggies.

The difference was the trigger of the “dining hall tray”. Since most of the students ate at the cafeteria, the tray cued them to the slogan. And because they used a dining hall tray often (this is important), they were cued often.


Saved by Dogs, As Usual

When first released, Febreeze was failing miserably. The product was developed to neutralize tough odors, so the first ad campaigns showed people spraying them on sweaty, smelly clothes or on jackets that had a cigarette smoke smell. But there was an inherent problem with this trigger: the situation just didn’t occur often enough to cue the trigger.

So Proctor & Gamble rejiggered the campaign brilliantly. What do people do often? Clean the house. Tidy a room before people come over. Dog on the sofa? Future campaigns showed people cleaning a room then adding the finishing touch – Febreeze. Cleaning a room or having a dog on sofa are triggers that occur frequently.

Leverage Emotional Triggers

Only 4% of people in Ghana were washing their hands with soap after using the toilet. Dr. Curtis and the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing With Soap (reference this NYTimes article), had what seemed like an easy fix: inform Ghanaians about the diseases caused by not washing with soap. The problem was that toilets are perceived as an hygienic upgrade from holes in the ground.

Since the current campaigns weren’t working they consulted Proctor & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive. The campaign that worked didn’t mention disease or diarrhea; it showed mothers and kids walking out of restrooms with glowing purple pigment on their hands, spreading to everything they touched.

The campaign appealed to the emotion of disgust. And worked.

Studies reveal that up to 45% of what we do each day is cued by habit. How do you get people to use your product or service regularly?

Attach it to a habitual trigger.

About Mattr

Mattr is social analytics software for marketers who want to design products and campaigns their target audience will love. Using just your social feed, surface personalities, demographics, and benchmarked interests – all without surveys.  

How to Develop Your Own Personality Analysis Algorithms – Mattr

How to Develop Your Own Personality Analysis Algorithms – Mattr

Tons of people (at least 26.7 people at 150lbs each) want to know how Mattr does personality analysis using social data. What words and phrases are used? What other markers are added to the algorithms? What research did we use?

Mattr uses lots of research. I’ve listed out two sources and some interesting bits. Obviously, it’s not exhaustive, although I have little problem in disclosing how we do things.


“$h!t Dude, I’m Starving!”

Remember the acronym, “OCEAN”: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. The Big 5 is kind of like the raw materials for a modern day Myers Briggs index. Most current personality surveys map to the Big 5. FYI, Myers Briggs is the Blackberry of smartphones.

Here are some samples how to use the Big 5 based on this research from the University of Md:

– Openness to experiences can be tied to literary likes

– Conscientiousness is tied to use of exclamations such as swear words

Extraversion is tied to perception words such as “hearing” and “feeling”

Agreeableness is tied to biological process words such as “eating” and “pain”

Neuroticism is tied to use of ingestion words such as “drink” and “eat”


Change Your Profile Pic A Lot?














Your behavior on social networks also reveals elements of the Big 5. This study from the University of Texas gives us lots of behaviors to correlate to the Big 5.

Here are just a few:

– Posting Often

– Adding Pictures of Yourself

– Editing Your Posts

– Replacing Your Profile Picture

This is just a taste of the exhaustive research that sourced our algorithms. It’s taken us two years to get where we are and find the right market for personality analysis.

If you’re more interested, drop a note to us from our website.

Mattr Lifts Personality, Demos, and Interests from Social Media w/o Surveys

Mattr Lifts Personality, Demos, and Interests from Social Media w/o Surveys

mattr header 650

See Mattr at Adweek this Thursday, the 26th, in NYC

An App Just for Market Researchers
You’ve been neglected for too long. Analytics platforms, to date, have been for the community manager, whose concern is sending the best updates out to the most networks, the most efficiently.

Well, Mattr is different. With Mattr, you’ll have the tools to design products and campaigns that your target audience will love.

How? You get personality, demos, and interests. Without surveys.

Here are the juicy particulars: Relaunches as Mattr with New Holistic Social Insights Platform Beta 

First glimpse available to AdWeek attendees at 10th Anniversary event in NYC Sept 24-26

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and AUSTIN, TX, Sept. 16, 2013- Companies looking for a comprehensive understanding of what makes their audience ‘tick’ are now able to leverage their social data, rather than expensive and time consuming market research studies. Mattr brings beautiful insight into the personalities, demographics and interests of any brand’s social audience.

Five key new capabilities are available to users of the Beta:

1. Audience segmentation by personality type, demographics and interests.

2. Ability to create and compare ‘Personas’ (comprised of personality type and demographics) for social analysis.

3. Benchmark a Brand’s audience against an industry or competitor.

4. Segmented view of responses to specific social campaigns or individual tweets.

5. ‘Sentiment Variance’ introduced as way of assessing whether an audience is more positive or negative about a brand than they are generally.

Jack Holt, Mattr CEO, comments, “We’re going to carefully manage this Beta, but do want to open it up to a larger audience quickly.  Anyone who’s spent time, money and effort on a large market research study will realize the benefit of our method of using social data to analyze consumer preferences. We provide new levels of insight and same-day results at a small fraction of the cost of traditional studies and make it extremely easy to monitor changes over time.”

Attendees of AdWeek’s 10th Anniversary event in NYC can visit the Innovation Hall on September 26th, where Mattr will be on hand to showcase the platform and register those people who are interested in the Beta program.  All others can request an invitation at

About Mattr

Mattr is leading a new era for consumer insights, providing brands with a deeper, more colorful view into their social audience.  Through a unique mix of personality data and demographics, Marketers can begin to discover what really makes their audience tick.  


How to Duck Career-Killers like Pearl Izumi’s Dying Dog

How to Duck Career-Killers like Pearl Izumi’s Dying Dog

Why in the world would Pearl Izumi’s creatives develop and release a campaign showing a dying yellow lab? “Sure, not everyone will appreciate your increased efficiency…” it states.

pearl-izumi-hed-2013 (1)Yes, It Could Have Been You

Sure it’s easy to throw dirt at Geoff Shaffer of Pearl Izumi and his team. How could they possibly have made such an obvious mistake? Well, if you’re honest with yourself, it could have been you.

You and the team brainstorm and come up with some boring ideas and some zany ones. There is so much creativity flowing that you don’t notice how insular you’ve become.

Mike Johansson, a lecturer at the Rochester Institute of Technology summed it up: “Corporations get so caught up in their messaging they forget to run it by some regular folks and get a gut reaction,” he said.

But is a “gut reaction” enough? No way. People, especially when they’re caught up in “creative hubris”, need one thing: data.

Get the Data. Anticipate the Reaction

Or more accurately, “Get the Data; Create Content Your Targets will Love.” But doing this requires focus groups. Lots of time and money, right?

Not anymore.

Our next release, in private beta starting September 16th, will detect the personality of the people you want to engage with, along with regular demographics. You’ll discover the right words and images to use to avoid campaigns like Pearl Izumi’s.

Now there’s an app for that, and it’s just for you.