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Multivariate testing

Multivariate Ad Conversion Testing


As part of a national roll out encouraging 16-24 years olds to participate in sexual health screening, NHS Blackpool & North Lancashire wanted to encourage their target audience to request a pee-in-a-pot test kit for submission by post and thus creating engagement without the embarrassment of the target audience having to attend a clinic.

The national roll out involved TV, radio and other display advertising with a bias towards transport such as buses and trains. However, whilst the national advertising created awareness it did not encourage engagement and six months into the campaign NHS targets were well down across all regions of the country.

NHS Blackpool & North Lancashire


Success rate in achieving national targets for health screening.


Thule Media undertook six months of digital advertising via Google Adwords and Facebook targeted towards the 16-24 age group. Numerous graphic and text display ads were created and over a period of six months all were trialled using multivariate testing methods looking at sex, age band within the demographic, graphic message, text message, time of day, day of week and location.

The basics of the campaign were carefully planned out in advance and statistics were recorded along the way. Beyond the core design of the experiment, the campaign evolved further with other client requests corresponding to changes to the national campaign but, a sound mathematical structure was maintained throughout the campaign.


NHS Blackpool & North Lancashire were the only NHS region to achieve their engagement targets in respect of sexual health screening for 16-24 year olds in 2009. The client requested a detailed report for the purpose of using as a best practice case study nationally within the NHS.

The model was then adopted by the NHS across most other regions as part a national campaign over the following 2 years. Thule Media continued to operate the Blackpool & North Lancashire over 2010-2011 with the remit to experiment further.


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