Oi, sticky test this.
Right. The sticky test. If anyone reading this is unfamiliar with the term, my advice is stop being unfamiliar. If you’re thinking about coming to the school, Marc my words, you’ll be knee-deep in sticky testing for the rest of your days.
A little ritual we have going on here at SCA is a weekly sticky test whereby one of us chooses an ad from an assigned D&AD annual and sticky test it to shit in front of the whole class. It’s a good exercise that gets you thinking critically about what makes something good or not. The key elements of a sticky test are broken down like so:
S – Simple
U – Unexpected
C – Concrete
C – Credible
E – Emotional
S – Story
A score out of 10 for each category are added up together giving a maximum of 60 points.
The astute observer among you will notice this forms the word ‘succes(s)’. Clever sausage. I therefore need not tell you that sticky testing is how you ensure an idea (or anything, for that matter) has legs – more than legs, really, wings.
So I thought I’d do a little sticky test for this SCAB to drive home its importance when assessing an ad. I’ve chosen a piece of work that won all the big awards – black pencil, yellow pencil, Cannes Lion, you name it.
Simple – 1/10 – Convoluted, woeful communication. Takes the whole video to get to the point.
Unexpected – 11/10 – Gotta hand it to the creative on this one. Who saw that twist coming?
Concrete – 1/10 – The stats in this ad sound like they’re from 4chan.
Credible – 2/10 – Love the idea of a wireless dog leash. Just don’t think the technology is there yet.
Emotional – 1/10 – Completely tone deaf to a serious issue. Dog knapping isn’t a laughing matter.
Story – 2/10 – You pay top dollar to have Leonardo DiCaprio show up at the end of your ad with a shambles of a script like this? Seriously, what the hell were these guys smoking?
Total – 18/60
The point of this exercise is to demonstrate that even the award-winning ads should be sticky tested because clearly a lot of them are just terrible. And we don’t want to fall into the same trap, now, do we?