Bord Bia Quality Mark Test

Do Quality Marks Actually Get Our Attention?

How do Quality Marks perform from an attention perspective across Packaging, Digital Content & Television Advertisements?

Client / Project:



Research Question:

How do Quality Marks perform from an attention perspective across Packaging, Digital Content & Television Advertisements?

Research Background:

The provenance of Irish produce is a familiar concept to all, and the term ‘Buying Irish’ is something we encounter all the time. Much time, money and effort are put into securing Quality Marks and associations that ‘credentialise’ the provenance of a brand’s produce. This results in products being branded with tags such as the ‘Bord Bia Quality Mark’, ‘In Association with Bord Bia’ mark and the ‘Guaranteed Irish’ that is almost second nature to us.

However, given the obvious benefits of securing such Quality Marks, it raises the following questions:

  • Do consumers actually notice these marks? Or do they say they notice them?
  • Do they remember seeing them?
  • If they do notice them, do they view them for long enough for them to encode in our memory?
  • Is there room for optimising the presentation of these quality marks to ensure that they are seen and processed cognitively?

Entry Hypotheses:

Upon entering the study, we held the following hypotheses:

  1. The study will not be presented “in-context”, meaning that the stimuli will not appear in their natural environment which means that the attention scores are slightly inflated as we are asking respondents to look at the stimulus as opposed to understanding how they perform in their natural environment. This is intentional as we want to understand the proportionality of attention between Quality Marks and competing elements.
  2. Respondents will overwhelmingly report that they consider quality marks as part of their purchasing decision.
  3. The presentation of Quality Marks across the various formats will impact attention performance.

Research Methodology:

To understand how Quality Marks affect our attention, we first needed to explore the different scenarios where a consumer is exposed to Quality Marks. Secondly, we needed to choose a selection of different presentation formats for Quality Marks. Some were presented in an integrated manner, forming a key component to the stimulus while others were placed in the corner of the stimulus in what we have labelled as a ‘badging’ approach.

This was achieved through the use of screen-based Eye-Tracking where the respondent was exposed to a range of stimuli to measure how they performed from a visual perspective:

  1. Self-Reported Questions: A variety of Survey-style questions were dotted throughout the exposure to capture the Quantitative & Qualitative inputs from respondents. This allowed us to understand the rational aspects of the respondent’s exposure combined with their subconscious response to the various exposures.
  2. Packaging Exposure: A selection of products were displayed as still images that presented the various Quality Marks under observation in differing formats.
  3. Digital Assets Exposure: A selection of creatives used as Digital Assets across Social Media & Display were included to understand the performance of Quality Marks from an attention perspective.
  4. Television Ad Exposure: A selection of TVC Creatives were shown that presented quality marks in a variety of different approaches to understand how they affect attention.


Quality Marks are not things that consumers typically fixate on, however from a brand perspective, it is important to drive associations with Quality Marks and National produce as these associations can influence consumer decision making at the point of purchase.

As such, these quality marks must be at the very least seen, to` trigger these associations and affect long-term memory.

The data presented below lays out the breakdown of how respondents apportioned their attention towards Quality Marks

Note: Data collected is positively weighted, meaning that respondents are more attentive during this study than they will be in their natural environment, as no other elements were competing for attention during observation – real-world attention stats can be up to 80% lower depending on the environment in question)

  • Implicit Preference: There was no discernible implicit preference amongst those who identifed with the statement “I look for Quality & Standard Marks when making my purchasing decision”, indicating most respondents selected this answer once their rational minds kicked in. Interestingly, there was a stronger implicit preference shown by those who were certain that they do not look for Quality & Standard Marks.
  • Viewability: Bord Bia’s presentation outperformed that of Guaranteed Irish & Love Irish Food across all presentation formats, this can be attributed primarily to their presentation approach where for high-attention creatives, the Quality Mark formed part of the narrative or was presented in a direct manner to the audience (see % to Notice in table below).
  • Attentiveness & Time In Focus: A higher number if fixations within an Area of Interest represents an increased level of attention, as a result we can see that the creatives that integrated the Quality Marks naturally or those who placed them in as part of the natural reading patterns of Western civilisation received the most optimal results. These findings are further complemented by their dwell time scores. Increased dwell time corresponds with a higher likelihood of memory encoding, and based on the results shown below, the same stimuli who performed best in terms of Fixations & Revisit Count are typically those who received the highest Dwell Time, ultimately combining to represent a higher propensity for long-term memory encoding, impacting Mental Availability of the brands represented.
  • Unaided Recall: When asked to recall the elements of the Product Packaging shown to them (dur: 6000 ms) there was not a single respondent who recalled seeing the Quality Marks on the products.

Attention Performance | Area of Interest

Creatives Used (For Reference):

  1. Black Castle Farm – View
  2. Centra Chicken – View
  3. Chopped – View
  4. Ishka Water – View
  5. Bord Bia Pork – Watch
  6. Brady Family Ham – Watch
  7. McDonald’s – Watch
  8. Flahavan’s – Watch
  9. Super Valu – Watch
  10. Eggs – View
  11. Ham – View
  12. Sugar – View