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Think you’ve thought of everything? Speak to Ogilvy Change.

Looking at Good-Loop through the lens of Behavioural Economics

· psychology,Advertising,User experience

This week, the Good-Loop team were fortunate enough to be invited by Ogilvy Change to exchange ideas over a fabulous spread of orange Doritos and pink wine.

Ogilvy Change is the behavioural insights unit within the Ogilvy Group. They use principles from psychology and behavioural economics to nudge our behaviour or decision-making in certain directions. Their unique expertise has helped the likes of Unilever, British Airways and The Times, so this was an invaluable opportunity for us to learn from the best.

Choice architecture is extremely relevant to Good-Loop as our success relies on persuading people to watch an advert in exchange for a free charity donation. When people come across a Good-Loop advertising unit, we have about 2 seconds (if we’re lucky) to grab their attention and give them just enough information to nudge them into giving it a go.

I approached our meeting with Ogilvy Change arrogantly confident that I’d identified the main variables in this equation. I’d thought about playing around with the length of the video, testing different colour buttons and experimenting with positioning on the page. But barely a single Dorito had passed my lips before it became apparent just how many linguistic and visual factors there are that might affect peoples’ propensity to watch an ad for good.

Here are but a few of them:

The influential power of other people

We are immediately reassured when we see someone else doing something. It gives us confidence in the decisions we’re about to make and helps us to justify or validate the ones we’ve already made. So by adding subtle cues about how many other people are embracing Good-Loop, we can reduce the friction in this decision and lower the perceived risk of giving it a go. Ogilvy Change suggested a couple of ways of doing this such as showing a ’50 other people are watching right now’ notification or having a counter which displays how much other people have raised in the last 24 hours.

Competition is another extremely powerful motivator of behaviour and so we may also want to consider having a league table of the people or groups who have donated the most in a given period. Perhaps creating some friendly competition between our blogger and publisher partners, to see whose readers can raise the most money for charity.

The Identifiable Victim Effect

Apparently there is a well-documented phenomenon known as the ‘Identifiable Victim Effect’. It refers to our tendency to be more generous when one specific person is seen to be in need of help in comparison to a large, vaguely defined group with the exact same needs.

The Ogilvy Change team suggested that we take this into consideration when thinking about how to communicate the causes people can support and also the impact they can have through Good-Loop. So it may be that we want to show a photo of Sniffles the schnauzer, rather than a shedload of puppies. Likewise, it’s a much more powerful way to quantify the outcomes, for example ‘every 10 adverts watched pays for a puppy vaccination’.

The Goal Gradient Effect

Online funding or sponsorship websites such as Kiva and JustGiving, will often make a point of displaying not only the amount of money raised so far, but also how this equates to the desired target. When a fundraising campaign is say 95% towards its target, donors can see themselves in the powerful position of tipping the balance and really making a difference.

This taps into something called the Goal Gradient Effect which is the principle that during a task, the nearer we get to the finishing posts, the more effort we put in. Ogilvy Change recommended that Good-Loop could harness this effect in very creative ways. So when we have nearly reached one of our fundraising goals we could highlight this in the copy thereby nudging people to help us over the finish line.

Reframe the pay-off

Framing can drastically influence the outcomes of a decision because it changes the comparison set it is viewed in. The AA’s advertising once famously reframed their offering as the ‘4th emergency service’. Once comparable to fire fighters and paramedics the AA suddenly seemed much more necessary and membership numbers skyrocketed. So thinking about the way you frame a decision is crucial.

In the example of Good-Loop, our current model counts down until the advert view is complete and the donation has been made. However Ogilvy Change suggested we reframe this to focus on the benefit rather than the cost. So rather than emphasizing the cost of the time people have to give, let’s instead make it focused on the benefit that every extra second of viewing brings to the charity.

So, what's next for Good-Loop?

As you can tell, it was a very productive session brimming with both science and creativity. We discussed everything from big business-altering ideas to detailed considerations of how to use shadowing or animation to make the buttons more ‘clickable’. I feel that more than anything, the Ogilvy Change team have helped us to realise how much potential there is within this idea, how many avenues there are to explore and how much we still have to learn.

The next step for us is to solidify all this smart thinking into an actionable test-and-learn plan for the next couple of months, so that we can be sure we’re really maximising our Ogilvy Change advantage.

This article was written by Good-Loop founder and Managing Director, Amy Williams.

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