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Flowers Foods’ Early Iterative Testing Increased Creative Performance by 25%


Flowers Foods strongly believes in iterative creative testing to provide insight from concept to production – informing decisions across the company and its agencies.

Historically, Flowers found testing to be a long and expensive process that hindered frequent iterative testing, risking investing in less successful concepts.

Using Realeyes, Flowers could get both quantitative performance scores for selecting the strongest creative based on audience attention and emotional response, but equally unearth the qualitative insights behind them too at speed.

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Key Takeaways

  • Selecting the best animatic was made simple through testing and avoided the cost of producing weaker concepts
  • Testing ad production early surfaced how creative elements affected audience response – decreasing negativity by almost 12%
  • Iterative testing garnered positive results each time, informing decisions to ultimately drive overall performance by 25%

Iterative testing garnered positive results each time, informing decisions to ultimately drive overall performance by 25%


Flowers Foods used Realeyes audience attention and emotional response measurement to test their Nature’s Own’s fairy tale- themed campaign. Creative testing began with rough cut animatics based on five different iconic fairy tales, using a voice over to explain the thrust of the creative. Early testing immediately surfaced the strongest performing creative, avoiding the costly path of producing underperforming concepts.

The report included key emotional KPIs, attention, survey, and sentiment analysis data. The second-by-second analysis revealed which scenes garnered attention or even elicited an emotional response such as happiness, fear, sadness, or contempt. Whereas the qualitative survey data provided additional feedback including the remembered experience: Brand recall, Likeability and Shareability. This approach provided clarity on concept selection, enabling them to go into full production with confidence.

4 thumbnails of animatic ad concepts based on fairytale stories
Concept Score Attention Happiness Engagement
Red Riding Hood 73 70.8% 17.5% 27.5%
Cinderella 67 70.7% 11.7% 20.8%
Hansel & Gretal 63 64.4% 15.8% 22.8%
Jack & Beanstalk 61 65.7% 12.6% 20.1%
Snow White 58 69.6% 11.2% 18.4%


Test Surfaced Editing Opportunities

Out of the five animatics, The Red Riding Hood creative performed the best for Attention levels, along with high levels of happiness and engagement.

The peaks of Attention revealed that the wolf scenes gripped the audience and that the plot twist (where the wolf turns out to be friendly) piques audience Engagement. The second-by-second analysis also surfaced opportunities to edit scenes where Attention and Engagement fell flat.


Test Surfaced Opportunities to Drive Greater Engagement

Using these insights, Flowers and their creative agency began producing a 30-second spot for further testing. As expected, the wolf scenes elicited fear and peak negative responses, but this also retained attention and high levels of engagement. It was other creative elements such as the voiceover, music and lingering dark scenes that provided an opportunity to optimize to drive more positive engagement.

Final Edit

Test Revealed a 25% Increase in Performance

The second iteration had tighter scene edits, a new soundtrack, a different voice-over, and additional sound effects to make the ad more light-hearted. As a result, happiness increased 30% for the improved concept and negative reactions decreased 12%. The survey results also found that positive reactions increased 25% and negative reactions decreased 49%.

Concept Score Attention Happiness Engagement
Mid-Production 60 78% 3.7% 6.5%
Final Edit 75 81% 4.8% 5.7%
Change +25% +3% +30% -12%


Flowers work on iterative creative testing has led to 12% increase in online video media effectiveness and 68% in on TV media effectiveness, as determined by Nielsen. It will continue to test its animatics and creative using Realeyes platform. 

The success of the Nature’s Own has also led Flowers to conduct an audit of creative for brands Nature’s Own, Wonder, Dave’s Killer Bread, and Tastykake). 

We found that shorter ads (0-10s) tend to maintain a higher percentage of the audience through to their completion. While longer ads (10-20s and 20-40s) retain a smaller percentage of the audience, they can elicit a stronger emotional reaction and increase recollection. 

Since 15s spots have lower executional costs with minimal impact of effectiveness, Flowers prefers shorter ads for brand and product creative, while using 30s for innovation launches and complex benefit communication. All valuable insights that will be used to inform upcoming campaigns.

    Flowers work on iterative creative testing has led to 12% increase in online video media effectiveness and 68% in on TV media effectiveness

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    Realeyes uses front-facing cameras and computer vision to measure opted-in and privacy-safe audience attentiveness and engagement as they passively view Flowers Foods video content on their own device.

    Participants were given pre-viewing and post-viewing survey questions for qualitative responses relating to Brand Favorability, Purchase Intent and Brand Recall.

      5 animatics were tested in August 2021, with an average of 240+ views per video by male and female viewers aged 18-69 on desktop and mobile.The first iteration of the Red Riding Hood ad was viewed in December 2021, and the final version in January 2022. 

      In addition to the fairy tale campaign, Realeyes ran a brand audit, including 28 Flowers Foods videos from 2020 and 2021, across 4 brands (Nature’s Own, Wonder, Dave’s Killer Bread, and Tastykake). Each video had an average audience of 240 viewers. This portfolio intelligence provided brand specific benchmarks alongside other industry norms.

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