Are Your Clients Balancing Ad Integration with Customization?

BY Kathy Crosett
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What do consumers think about ads these days? Kantar MillwardBrown asked people their opinions about ads today as compared to three years ago. Over half of folks believe ads fit well across formats, and they think ads tell good stories. These findings bode well. But, about 70% of people say ads are everywhere now and they’re more intrusive. What can your clients glean from these findings to help improve their messaging?

If your clients want to make an impression on consumers, the messaging should be consistent and integrated across media formats. When ads on TV, Facebook and out-​of-​home reflect the same visuals – actors or scenery or text – the impressions on consumers ads up. There is no confusion about what is being advertised, where they can find a product and what the brand is all about. Using the same tagline across media formats, for example, gives consumers cues to recognize a brand – whether it’s on TV or on the cinema screen. Likewise, sounds can reinforce impressions. The same sound track heard on a TV ad will be familiar to consumers when they see another ad from the same company online.

Today, there’s increasing pressure to buy ad space on a variety of media formats. The logic is that more people will be exposed to your clients’ ads. Is that the right kind of thinking? Not necessarily, say researchers. For each channel your clients buy, a bit of customization is in order. This customization is an added expense, and it’s easy to take the wrong approach. Your clients can’t just take a TV ad and run it as a video pre-​roll. Consumers won’t stand for it. For one thing, video must be shorter than the TV ad, or it won’t hold anyone’s attention.

Kantar MillwardBrown research shows marketers should reduce their temptation to buy a format because everyone else is. Buying in the wrong channel increases expenses and could fail to connect with the target audience. Consumers still have a positive attitude about print and outdoor advertising, for example. Online, not so much. Only 45% of folks say online advertising is effective and their online ad recall is often associated with negativity. If your clients are attempting to reach niche audiences who spend most of their media time with TV, like those in the market for the rental of home health care equipment, the online channel might not be quite right.

Remind your clients that optimizing their ROI from ad campaigns requires the proper integration across media types, knowing which format to buy, and balancing customization in each format.