Think Differently!

October 27, 2011

That’s what Steve Jobs did. Even though he revolutionized the digital era, he did not think much of the internet as a branding medium. While everyone was jumping on the digital bandwagon, Jobs effectively remained “old school.”

In 2010, Apple spent an estimated $420 million on advertising. Over 90% of that budget was allocated to network television, newspapers, magazines and billboards. Less than 10% went toward digital initiatives.

And when Apple did spend online, it was usually an extension of a TV campaign like the iconic Mac vs. PC ads.

Jobs also believed in controlling the message which files in the face of the current wisdom that consumers should tell the brand story via Facebook and Twitter. Upon his death, Apple barely had a presence on either platform.

Throughout his brilliant career, Jobs created products for the masses. And he wisely chose mediums that targeted the masses. In advertising, as in product development, he relied heavily on his convictions and intuition. He did not rely on “likes” or “tweets.” He took a much more pragmatic approach: tell the story of how an amazing product can change a consumer’s life in the best environment possible. And then he was smart enough to understand that the best environment – then and now – is still traditional media.

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Live Action versus Animated

December 29, 2010

Which Works Best?

In an analysis of television ads across all product categories, Nielsen found that in general, live action ads were more effective than animated ads.

For all major categories, live action ads scored 22% higher than animated-only ads in Brand Recall — which is the percentage of TV viewers who can recall the commercial and its adverted brand 24 hour after viewing it.

Live action creatives were more effective than animated ads across all major demographics as well. While live action ads resonated equally among both genders, Brand Recall was 27% stronger for females and 17% stronger among males than for animated ads.

Adults 35 to 49 saw a 24% increase in brand recall for ads that used live action vs. animated. The gap did shrink among viewers aged 13-35, who only showed an 11% change between live action and animated creatives.

When looking at consumer packaged goods specifically, ads in the personal care category appeared to struggle the most when using animation. For certain personal care products, brand recall was twice as high among spots using live action vs. an animated theme.

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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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