We want better ads

If you ask most people their opinion of advertising, they generally range from disinterested to distaste. We can have better ads. But how?

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If you ask most people their opinion of advertising, they generally range from disinterested to distaste. You’d be hard pressed to find many people who claim to love adverts, and rightfully so. They’re generally disruptive, not aimed at our interests or needs and some are just plain boring. This doesn’t have to be the case. We can have better ads. But how?

Better ads mean better creative

Let’s tackle the fun problem first; adverts don’t have to be boring. In fact, there are some really good ads out there. You know, the ones that make you laugh, cry, and most importantly they engage you. Every year, there are a handful of standouts, often they tell a story, pull on the heartstrings, and relate to their audience.

Some of the best examples from this year come from two very different products. The first is from Met Life, with an ad that ran in Hong Kong. It’s hard to deny the power this video has, and the format itself feels more like a short film. It engages the audience, but also makes them feel like they need the product.

The second has the best viral components: cute animals being friends. Hats off to Android for capitalising on our obsession with cute animal videos and compiling these clips of unlikely fur friends. According to Digital Trends, this is the most shared ad of all time, with 6.4 million shares.

Improve targeting

Now, what about ad targeting?  We’re all used to re-targeted ads, in fact, it’s the ability to re-target consumers that gives digital advertisers a major advantage over tradition TV or newspaper ad spots. However, most consumers will agree, brands can do better at retargeting and it means moving beyond the basics.

With the data available online and specifically through programmatic marketing, advertisers have the ability to tailor their message to fit the consumer’s needs. The person who just bought a surfboard won’t get much use out of more surfboard ads, but how about a car rack, wet-suit, or surfing travel packages? Now we’re talking.

MediaPost points out, “A major advantage of programmatic creative is the dynamic and sequential messaging that is influenced by rich-data signals. The signals can also be used to adjust creatives to better fit the person viewing the ad.”

The art and science of better ads

Some argue the science of advertising is taking away from the art, that ads have become so calculated that they’re no longer the creative masterpieces of times past.  Like this ad, that got a second nod following the finale of Mad Men.

There’s also an argument, and a strong one, that science and technology are making betters ads, more creative and dynamic ads than ever before. A great example of this is from a new campaign Crayola recently launched, with YouTube star Zach King.

According to AdWeek, “The mini-film is part of larger holiday campaign from Crayola…which includes a range of kid influencers, demonstration videos, in-store sampling and social media.” It’s easy to see how the use of technology, data, and proper targeting can take advertising to a whole new level.  

The need for quality creative is clear, but quality goes beyond captivating storytelling and requires the use of data, targeting, and technology to develop better ads.  

Instead of putting science vs. creativity, it’s high time both sides worked together to strengthen advertising for the better. The end result of a science blended with creativity based advertising approach is far more likely to be relevant and engaging advertising, delivered to appropriate audiences on the right screen when it’s useful to them. No matter which end of the spectrum you’re approaching it from, that’s a pretty compelling and sustainable result to strive for, and we think audiences would agree. Now let’s raise our glasses to better ads!

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Posted by simonholliday