Thursday, August 31, 2017

Realistic Advertising With IKEA

IKEA’s commercials have gotten a lot of industry buzz for their portrayal of the “honest” side of life. Rather than portraying perfect families in their shiny homes, the “Where Life Happens” campaign features relatable situations, such as adoption or divorce.

In the latest IKEA Sweden spot, a mother comes home to an apartment full of messy teenagers. She is overwhelmed and takes refuge on the apartment’s balcony. It is only after a heartwarming turn of events that IKEA products, with prices, are presented.

You can watch the spot here.

So why do these ads garner so much attention from industry insiders and consumers alike?

Everything, from the 4:3 aspect ratio to the simple yet moving music, works to build a consistent voice that carries from one ad to the next. As Matt Tanter, CSO of Grey London, says, “they have found a voice that uses a magical realism to create beautiful, funny, moving stories.”

The touch of reality and consistent voice help IKEA’s ads stand out amongst the clutter. This strategy can be utilized by other brands to increase likeability and brand recall.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Natural Inspiration for Billboard Creative

This week’s eclipse gave brands an opportunity to capitalize on nature with themed advertisements. But it doesn’t need to be a once-every-few-years natural occurrence in order to serve as inspiration for marketers.

Something as simple as the day’s weather conditions can be utilized in campaigns such as Paramount Pictures’ promotion of the “Baywatch” movie. As reported by Media Life Magazine, Paramount Pictures ran a digital billboard campaign with Lamar Advertising that used current weather conditions to automatically update their ads.

If it was snowing, the ad would read, “Snow sucks. Summer is coming.” And if it was icy or temperatures were below zero, the ad would update to, “Frost bites. Summer is coming.” These small adjustments helped the ads remain “relevant and interesting”.

This campaign was also unique in the choice of markets in which to run. Rather than the top 10 DMAs, the 16 coldest U.S. markets were chosen. “This allows for the creative relevant messaging to really speak to the audience in a unique way when they’re longing for warm weather,” says Ian Dallimore, Lamar Advertising’s director of digital strategy and innovation.

With only a month left of summer, it’s time for marketers to consider how interactive and relevant messaging can boost the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gen Z: A Unique Challenge

It’s back to school season and as Gen Zers head to college, marketers are realizing that they present a unique challenge. Ilyse Liffreing of Digiday reports that, while often grouped with millennials, Gen Zers are at “different life stages, care about completely different things and need to be programmed for and communicated to entirely differently.”

This realization has spurred an effort by agencies to begin researching this audience. Characterized by a progressive ideology and short attention span, Gen Z is very digitally savvy, having never known life without internet access. This generation also saw their parents go through a recession, in turn affecting their own purchasing behaviors.

Agencies and brands “are bulking up their own Gen Z expertise.” In order to help brands establish a connection, the Day One Agency created a website where Gen Zers answer questions covering various topics and the NFL partnered with AwesomenessTV for a series targeting Gen Z fans.

Sony Music Entertainment even created its own video production company, called Astronauts Wanted, to reach Gen Z. When asked what sets this group apart, Christine Murphy, Astronauts Wanted’s svp of branded entertainment, said, “They kind of have this heightened sense of intuition… and they really are progressive.”

 It is estimated that by 2020, Gen Z will number 2.6 billion and have an annual purchasing power of $44 billion. It would be wise for marketers to begin differentiating between millennials and Gen Z.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Argument for Awareness

Back in the day, the primary goal of advertisers was to raise awareness for their brands. In recent years, the focus of advertising has shifted to engagement, but it may be beneficial for brands to go old-school and once again drive awareness.

Now that consumers are engaging with various media all day every day, it can be hard for advertisers to break through the clutter and be noticed. In Adweek, Brian Sheehan makes the argument that advertising is no longer about persuading consumers but rather about being remembered.

Oftentimes it is the most innovative brands that receive the most attention. Advertising becomes similar to publicity for disruptive brands such as Tesla Motors, “the most valuable car company in the world despite being one of the smallest in sales volume.” T-Mobile also cultivates awareness with near constant innovation, making it “one of the hardest brands to compete with in the telecom world.”

Driving awareness from the bottom up has also been a successful strategy for companies such as Blue Apron and Glossier. These brands have demonstrated that they understand what consumers share and recommend to each other.

Considering the current cluttered advertising landscape, it would be wise for advertisers to make awareness their primary objective again rather than engagement.