Rise Of The Machines

When does technology become too technological? This may seem like a counter-intuitive question, but in our most recent Technology Fluent Innovation case study, we see the negative results of thinking too far outside the Xbox. To download the complete case study, please click HERE

Tech companies now face the problem of wanting to appear innovative and forward-thinking, without conjuring images of an imminent A.I. run dystopia. Even if they are only selling a self-cleaning litter tray, the fear of the unknown is real.

So how do advertisers achieve technical innovation that will be successful in market?

We advise our clients to aim for 80% familiarity and 20% novelty – any more familiar and their product appears stagnant and unoriginal, but any more novel and you run the risk of coming across more I, Robot than iPad.

We looked at 24 new tech releases, spanning a wide variety of products using our suite of market research platforms – from drop-off-points for your furry friend, to UV reading nail stickers. While none hit the coveted 5-Star category, and the vast majority failed to even hit 2-Stars, four ideas made it to the top 15%. We compare the highest scoring concept to the lowest and look at a few familiar faces.

The Good

There’s nothing more familiar than charging your phone, and nothing more irritating than a desk covered in cables. Wi-Charge hit the jackpot with this handy and non-intrusive concept. They even give it a friendly face by reinforcing how safe the product is early on in the description, resulting in an appealing, green and innovative idea.

The Bad

It should come as no surprise that the concept of being microchipped doesn’t sit well with most. And being microchipped by your employer? That just makes it worse. While, in theory, the concept is a useful one, Three Square Market make an uncomfortable leap into the sci-fi, and leave their consumers more than a few steps behind.

The Not-Too-Ugly

Snore Circle and L’Oréal’s UV Sense make sure their technology is front of house; offering an exploded view of their inventions to show off each complex component. So what’s the issue? Unsurprisingly, the thought of having your throat muscles tightened by a high-tech sleeping mask leaves consumers with a sense of unease. This 1-Star concept might stop your partner from killing you, but the compromise is likely to keep you up all night. L’Oréal’s UV Sense suffers from the same downfall on a smaller scale – its sci-fi visuals are unsettling and leave the consumer asking if it’s really worth it. Both brands promote products that are far more futuristic than familiar and, as a result, miss the innovation mark.

System1’s Emily Ozer is a finalist in the YES (Young ESOMAR Society) Award, talking about innovation and privacy. If you’d like to attend the event, please register HERE

Find out more about our Innovation Ad and Brand Testing methods HERE


At System1, we help advertisers make confident, creative decisions that lead to transformational business results. Our powerful ad testing platform (Test Your Ad) and our idea testing platform (Test Your Idea) help brands predict the commercial potential of ads and ideas. Complementing TYA and TYI is Test Your Brand, our brand monitoring tool which measures the impact of ads and ideas on brand health, ensuring long-term brand growth through predictive success.

Get in touch or book a demo with one of our experts to learn more.

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