How to make Your Television Commercials Memorable

November 20, 2009

What makes a memorable TV commercial? It’s all about messaging. When a piece of communication is to the point, relevant, worthwhile and compelling – it will move the viewer to action.

Moving people is not magic – it’s all about effective communication. It’s called the 4Cs model, which stands for Comprehension, Connection, Credibility and Contagiousness.

Brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, Suave Shampoo and Breyers Ice Cream use the 4Cs model to develop advertising campaigns that create an emotional connection with their customers.

Use the 4Cs to objectively evaluate your television commercials: what’s working, what isn’t and why.

The First C:  Comprehension

Does the audience get the message or main idea of the commercial? What does the commercial instantly communicate? Can the audience play the message back? This confirms that they “get it” and the first C is working.  Here are three tips for better comprehension:

1) Make the message sharp and clear

2) Repetition helps

3) Keep it simple – don’t go too deep

The Second C:  Connection

Making a connection with your TV commercial means not only that the audience “gets it,” but that it resonates with them, has meaning and significance for them and usually triggers an emotional response.

The Third C:  Credibility

The audience needs to believe who is saying it (the brand voice), what is being said, and how it is being said. Otherwise, any connection begins to break down – immediately.  Credibilty is the critical C, because the audience may completely understand an advertiser’s message, and even connect with it on an emotional level – but may not buy into it.  An example is Buick’s recent failure to attract younger buyers to the brand despite a more youthful image being put forth in its products and advertising.  It’s going to take a lot more than some well-produced TV ads to convince people that Buick is more than their grandfather’s car.

The Fourth C:  Contagiousness

You want your audience to “catch the message,” run with it, and spread it around. Think of the last time you saw a TV commercial that was so funny or clever that you discussed it with your friends, found yourself reenacting it or repeated the slogan in conversations.  That’s contagiousness.  To be contagious, your commercial needs to be energetic, new, different and memorable. And most of all, it should motivate the target to do something. 

Applying the 4Cs

So now play one of your TV commercials for a few people in your target audience and ask them the following questions:

1) What is the main message?

2) Does it evoke an emotional response?

3) Is the message believable?

4) Do you feel the message will “stick with you” and make you want to react in some way?

I assure you, the answers will be revealing – one way or another.

 

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How Media Works: Advertising & the Purchase Funnel

November 16, 2009

The impact of different media choices on auto advertising shows Television’s strength across all stages of the funnel.

The Yankelovich study also sheds light on how media interact to drive consumer actions.

Yankelovich 2009 — Automotive Category

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Question: “Which advertising media experience … most increased your awareness; most increased your level of interest; made you consider purchasing; encouraged you to actually purchase?”

Picture for Post #40

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TV Advertising Helps 3 Auto Brands Stand Out!

November 11, 2009

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What do Hyundai/Kia, Subaru and Volkswagen all have in common?

1) They spent considerably more on television advertising for the first 6 months of 2009, as a percentage of their ad budgets, than the auto industry average.  

Brand

% of ad budget spent on TV Advertising

Hyundai/Kia 

78.4%

Subaru 

90.0% 

Volkswagen 

80.7%

Industry Avg. 

62.5%

2) All three auto makers saw their market share increase substantially over the same period a year ago.

Brand  Market Share Increase 
Hyundai/Kia  39.7%
Subaru  52.9%
Volkswagen 28.8%

3) All three posted year-over-year unit sales decreases (every single manufacturer suffered decreases in sales during this period) that were considerably less than the industry average.

Brand  Unit Sales Decreases 
Hyundai/Kia  -9.4% 
Subaru -0.8%
Volkswagen -16.4%
Industry Avg. – 35.1%

4) All three brands allocated a smaller percentage of their ad budgets to Internet advertising than the industry average:

Brand  % of ad budget spent on U.S. Internet Advertising
Hyundai/Kia 3.7%
Subaru 5.4%
Volkswagen 4.0% 
Industry Avg. 7.5%

What do I think?

First of all, I think all three auto makers have done a great job bringing products to market that people actually want to buy. That’s most important to remember.

I also think it’s hard to refute what the data above says about their advertising decisions. There’s no denying, I’ve seen a ton of compelling television commercials for Hyundai, Subaru and Volkswagen this past year … and it would appear I was not the only one. 

I don’t care how the new media crowd spins it, when a brand like Subaru spends 90% of their total ad budget on television and is able to increase market share by 53% — it makes a compelling case for the power of television advertising. Short and simple.

And when you add in the impressive sales performances by Hyundai and Volkswagen, it’s even harder to ignore that television played more than just a casual role in success of all three auto makers.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Source:  TNS Media Intelligence/Automotive News

 

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Do “Attack Ads” Work in Retail TV Advertising?

November 5, 2009

Compared to political campaign ads, retailers have been cautious about using negative TV ads to badmouth their competitors.  A recent Adweek/Harris Poll indicates such caution is well founded.

As the chart shows, people have a predisposition to think worse of the brand making the attack than the brand that is the target.  

Graph for Post #38One caveat:  Though people routinely claim to dislike attack ads in politics, the results on Election Day often suggest those ads have worked.  So, consumers may be less averse than they say to TV advertising that goes negative on the competition.

 

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Out of Home TV Viewing Has Big Impact on Audience Size

November 3, 2009

Picture for Post #37Arbitron continues to make progress in their effort to measure out-of-home television viewing.  Pierre Bouvard, Arbitron’s Executive Vice President, says up to 35% of Americans are watching TV out-of-home, and stations aren’t getting credit for out-of-home viewing using the existing ratings system.

But, thanks to Portable People Meter (PPM) technology, TV networks and stations will soon be getting credit for total viewing, not just at-home viewing.

The PPM was developed by Arbitron to more accurately measure the number of people watching TV. The device is carried like a pager and picks up audio codes hidden within a station’s broadcast.  So, it doesn’t rely on viewers to punch a button or write in a diary to record their viewing habits.  The meter does all the work.

TBS (Turner Broadcasting) was the first client to sign with ARB-TV, and during the MLB Playoffs discovered the value of out-of-home audience measurement. 

According to Arbitron, the out-of-home viewership of the baseball playoffs increased the total audience size by 27% for adults 25-54.

Sports fans in bars are just part of the story.  When the PPM was tested in Houston, Arbitron noted significant out-of-home audiences in every demo daypart, including women 18-49 during daytime hours.  During the test period, a 17% audience increase was reported for W18-49.

ARB-TV reveals the top places for out-of-home viewing are:

1)      Friend’s House

2)      Bars & Restaurants

3)      At Work

The important thing to remember is that out-of-home TV viewership is not currently measured and not reflected in the ratings that stations provide their clients.  From a media planning standpoint, that’s not good.

However, until there’s a new ratings system firmly in place to measure out-of-home viewership, retail advertisers will continue to reach viewers they’re not paying for … and in this economy, that’s not bad.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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TV Still the Mass Media Champion – Just Ask a Politician

November 2, 2009

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It seems that when it comes to high-stakes political campaigns, where every dollar has to count, politicians are still turning to what has always worked for them – television advertising.

Wells Fargo Senior Analyst, Marci Ryvicker predicts that $3.3 billion will be spent in political and issue advertising in 2010 – with 67% of every dollar spent going to television.

Here are her projections for the entire advertising industry for the 2010 Political season:

Medium                       Projected Ad Spending                       % of Total

Television                    $2.2 billion                                           67%

Direct Mail                   $650 million                                         20%

Radio                           $228 million                                         6%

Newspaper                  $95 million                                           3%

Outdoor                       $55 million                                           2%

Internet                        $50 million                                           2%

I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.  

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TV Advertising Builds Brands that Last

October 27, 2009

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Let’s just cut to the chase? As it stands today, TV advertising builds brands. Internet advertising does not. There’s little doubt that once a brand is established, the Internet can and does keep the momentum moving forward, but until that point is reached all the banner ads and twitter tweets will do little to ingrain your brand into the psyche of the consumer.

Creating a memorable brand requires more than getting people to talk about your product on a social network. It requires the advertiser to make an emotional connection that television does so well.  Do you honestly think Nike would be the #1 sports brand if it wasn’t for television advertising?  Or would you feel the same connection with a little known insurance company if their AFLAC-ing duck never made its way onto your television screen? 

Sure technology has changed, but the basic rules of effective marketing remain the same. You still need reach and frequency to create most truly memorable brands.  And television advertising delivers both better than anything else out there.

Television has a rich history of transforming everyday companies into household names.  From packaged goods to insurance, from fast food to tires – television has been responsible for creating some of the most memorable advertising icons.

Who can forget …

The Energizer Bunny … Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes … Joe Isuzu … Tony The Tiger … The Michelin Man … Mr. Whipple … Dave Thomas … Mr. Peanut … The Keebler Elves … The Maytag Repairman … The Geico Gecko … Charlie The Tuna … Ronald McDonald … Mrs. Olsen … Jared from Subway … Clara “Where’s the Beef” Peller … Orville Redenbacher … The Marlboro Man …Colonel Sanders … Pillsbury Doughboy … Chef Boyardee … The AFLAC Duck … The California Raisins … Morris the Cat … The Quaker Oats Man … The Green Giant … Juan Valdez … The Doublemint Twins … The Budweiser Frogs … Rosie, The Bounty quicker picker upper … Aunt Jemima … Mr. Clean … The Verizon Wireless “Can You Hear Me Now” Man … Betty Crocker … The Lucky Charms Elf … The Geico Cavemen

Now, recall just one advertising icon or brand that wasn’t first introduced to you on television.

I’ll wait …

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TV Advertising Share of Pie to Grow in 2010/11

October 23, 2009

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After a dismal 2009 for the ad industry, television should actually grow its overall share of the advertising revenue pie over the next couple of years. This coming from the ZenithOptimedia Groups report on the outlook on advertising in the U.S. marketplace.

According to the report, domestic ad spending in general will decline 12.9% this year and will erode another 4.4% in 2010.  But prospects for TV are a lot more encouraging. 

The agency expects television to return to growth next year.  In 2009 it is expected to take 39.3% of all ad revenues and increase to 39.7% and 39.9% in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

So let me get this right, with all the advertising choices out there – traditional and digital – television’s share of the pie is getting bigger not smaller?  How can this be?

The only explanation I can think of is that despite the talk of paradigm shifts and the world’s fascination with anything digital – there’s still enough advertisers, big and small, who are more persuaded by results than hype.

And at the end of the day folks – what else matters?

 

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No Surprise Here: TV Content is Still Watched on TV

October 23, 2009

Picture for Post #33A new report by research Horowitz Associates, that surveyed 800 nationwide multichannel TV customers, reveals that only 2% (or two hours per month) of all TV viewing in the U.S. comes from non-traditional TV devices. That means that the majority of people still prefer watching their favorite
                                                       programs the good old fashion way.

According to Horowitz, the 2% represents two hours of the 130.2 overall hours that U.S. TV viewers watch in a month.

But when consumers do watch online, the #1 device for non-traditional TV viewing is the laptop. The top video viewing websites are:

  • YouTube
  • ABC.com
  • Hulu.com
  • NBC.com

The top types of programs watched on alternative video platforms are:

  • scripted dramas 24%
  • news programming 14%
  • comedy shows 13%
  • sports 13%
  • sitcoms 11%

Horowitz says that of those surveyed, over one-third (36%) wish all their favorite shows were available online; another 30% wish all TV shows were available on handheld devices.

A smaller number of TV viewers (7%) said that if all or most TV programs were available on their computer, they would get rid of their TV service.

The majority, however, still prefer traditional TV viewing. Eight in 10 (79%) say they prefer to watch TV shows on a TV versus a computer or handheld device.

 

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What Makes a Good Retail TV Commercial?

October 1, 2009

Picture for Post #32The ultimate test of an effective television commercial is NOT how entertaining it was, but did it get results.  More specifically, did viewers respond with their hard earned money?

As a retailer, if your agency can’t produce tangible results for your business then show them the door.  And you’ll probably be ushering them out sooner rather than later, if your commercials lack any of these six basic elements:

 Does your TV commercial…

1) Motivate viewers to take action immediately.

2) Explicitly communicate your product or service’s advantages over other choices.

3) Visually arouse your prospect.  Test this by turning the sound off and see if it still has the same visual effect.

4) Inspire trust, confidence and believability.

5) Provide a single consistent message that penetrates the viewers’ minds and stays there long after the commercial is over.

6) Grabs the viewers’ attention within the first three to five seconds. Remember the remote control is your worst enemy.  You must engage the audience quickly or risk losing them.

I want to thank David Frey, author of the best-selling manual, “The Small Business Marketing Bible” for these tips.  He’s spot on!

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