InsightExpress has created a new digital ad industry benchmark for creative ads, and plans to release findings from its 2012 awards program Wednesday.
The market research firm highlights five brands that have created effective campaigns, using a variety of online ad techniques such as an industry-recognized seal of approval, coupon offers, sponsorships and celebrity associations, and sweepstakes.
The techniques follow specific ad industry trends, such as product placement in videos and creating recognizable images of the brand.
After evaluating hundreds of campaigns, InsightExpress points to ads from Healthy Choice, Blue Moon Brewing, Walgreens, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Macy's as leading the industry in awareness.
Consider product placement in videos: Brand marketers need to make more conscious decisions of contextual product and ad placement on the page. ConAgra Foods' brand Healthy Choice, the overall winner, not only presented a static ad on a page supported by Bravo Media, but also product placement in a video running side by side.
The webisode series hosted on BravoTV.com by celebrity chef Curtis Stone connected with consumers.
Blue Moon created a technique where consumers can identify the brand by seeing the illustration. Marc Ryan, chief research officer at InsightExpress, calls the branding technique "creative." The beer maker uses the slogan "Artfully Crafted," tying into a theme that creating beer becomes an art.
Aside from Blue Moon sponsored by Hulu, other noteworthy brands include Walgreens sponsored by NBC.com; MD Anderson Cancer Center, The Richards Group; and Macy's, InMobi.
Without the artful content, putting human faces in an ad also works well and produces higher interaction with consumers, according to Ryan. "That works doubly true with images of celebrities," he said.
Macy's worked with InMobi, MEC and Joule to attract consumers to the brand. The mobile campaign produced what Ryan called a "high shift in purchase intent."
Mobile tends to attract consumer awareness. The Macy's mobile ad creates a degree of novelty with each swipe, Ryan said. In a recent study, InsightExpress found that 45.9% of survey participants are more aware of mobile ads related to retail compared with other sectors. The technology sector at 37.3% comes in second, followed by telecommunication at 19.8% and travel at 9.2%.
InsightExpress will use the findings to create a digital benchmark for clients. The ads were chosen based on analyzing campaign metrics, influence, familiarity and top-of-mind for the brand. The persuasion score combines the two metrics closest down the purchase funnel in advertising effectiveness research: brand favorability and purchase intent.