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Certius: How to do winning advertising in Iran

Certius established the rules of winning advertising in Iran, advertising that sells and gives businesses’ results. Certius created a summary of learnings and a toolkit for brand and communication managers.


The overall question addressed was “What are the keys to great Iranian advertising?” This can be answered by considering:

·      Which insights connect with the consumer?

·      Which ways the brand benefit is best shown?

·      Which creative tools and executional elements resonate with the consumer?

Each of these questions requires a thorough understanding of the Iranian consumer and the landscape of advertising in Iran.


Certius analyzed the activities of more than 20 successful brands over a 6 year period. This covered over 350 creative execution across various media, including TV, billboard, magazine and digital. In their analysis, Certius considered the execution and the in-market performance of the brands (measured by Ad*X, TGI and X*POS).


Advertising that engages the Iranian consumer is based on Iranian insights, and sometimes on cultural insights. It taps into Iranian’s desires and dreams.

Certius discovered how simple, rational benefits strengthen most brands’ appeal, and that strong reasons to buy are needed to lend the claim credibility. Based on access to quantitative media usage data and campaign media KPIs, Certius was able to also establish which media mixes are used by successful brands.


Gerhard Barcus, a Managing Partner of Certius, with more than 30 years of experience in the FMCG internationally and recently in Iran, leads the charge when it comes to the rules of winning advertising, and Russell Mackie, an expert in consumer insights and brand building, from Procter & Gamble, Iran, with over 20 years’ experience across diverse countries and categories, also contributed his insights to what it means to win at advertising.


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·      TGI (Target Group Index) is a single- source market and media research survey that provides data in products, brands, media and lifestyles.

·      X*POS: The data was gathered from 2500 outlets across 24 main cities in Iran. It ranges from data in sales, distribution/availability and price, and covers 4 categories: food, non-food, pharmaceutical and tobacco.

  • Ad*X is a continuous survey and a reliable source for measuring TV and media ads. Since 2002 it has covered media coverage from 6 national TV channels and more than 70 newspapers and magazines