So when will we see advertising that works?

This article is part three of a three part series.

In the last two articles we have spoken about a few things that it takes to make advertising that works – well branded, effective advertising.  This knowledge is based on research conducted by academics around the world (including at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science in Adelaide, Australia).  So if this knowledge is available, when will we see it put into practice?

Creative agencies can have a reputation for creating advertising that is artistically beautiful and consequently wins industry awards (the majority of advertising awards being directed towards artistic and production talent, excluding the Effies). However these campaigns aren’t necessarily effective when it comes to changing the behaviour of the consumer.

In order for creative agencies to create effective advertising, two things need to occur: 1) the client needs to want it and 2) the agency needs to want to do it.  I’ll now address these points independently.

Firstly, the client signs off on every campaign; at the end of the day they are the ones who pay for it and therefore must be happy with it.  If the client appoints a new marketing manager and decides they need to change an existing distinctive asset, there is little the agency can do about it.  The client needs to be educated on how to make advertising effective.  But don’t forget the customer is always right! Brands often forget how little attention is paid to their advertising and don’t like to accept that, given how much they are investing. There is a level of education that needs to occur here and the agency isn’t always in the place to provide it.

Secondly, the agency needs to have a culture that stands by creating effective advertising.  In a smaller agency (without a strategy team) this needs to come right from management at the top and down to the account management team writing the briefs.  If the culture fosters effective advertising, effective advertising will be created.

Hopefully we see more effective advertising in the future.

Stay curious..

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So, how do I tell you who I am?

This is part two of a three part series on effective advertising.

So from part one we know for advertising to be effective, it has to be well branded so we, the audience, knows who is advertising. But what is the best way to make an advertisement ‘well branded’?

In order for an advertisement to be well branded it must have both audible and visual branding or distinctive assets (assets that the consumer will subconsciously associate with your brand – think Nike and the tick).  Audible and visual branding ensures those who are passively avoiding your advertisement may be accessed through the audible branding.  Those who are muting the television  can also be accessed through visual branding.

It must also be remembered in more cases than not, the consumer will not watch the entire advertisement with 100% attention. Therefore, branding needs to be in all thirds of the advertisement in order to reach as many people as possible.

Myer’s more recent 15 second commercials demonstrate better branding than their initial 60 second spot.  Although this is a slightly longer advertisement, Coles have used both audible and visual branding exceptionally well.

Wait. What was that about?

This is part one of a three part series on effective advertising.

Obviously spend on advertising increases in the lead up the Christmas as brands compete for precious consumer spending. However, are brands really getting their ROI?

Along with this increase in advertising, there is also an increase in wasted spending. If an ad is aired and the consumer doesn’t know who or even worse, what it is for, the spend it wasted.

Brands must take into consideration that consumers don’t like advertising, with one third of television viewers avoiding advertising through switching channels, playing with children and pets and going into another room. Another third are passively avoiding advertising through muting the television and directing attention towards other mediums such as social media. Therefore a brand must do all it can to access the two thirds of the audience that don’t want to know about them through having a likeable, well branded (audible and visual branding) advertisement.

An example of a poorly branded advertisement is Myer’s “Find Christmas at Myer” TVC that has been airing for the last three weeks. Not only does it require the viewer to watch the very last 8 seconds of the 60-second commercial to know whom the advertisement is for, it also does not show any products and lacks audible branding. Consequently, a large proportion of the audience is a missed opportunity.

Stay tuned for part two…