Effective Ads Marry Message With Impact
You mean ads have to support the brand and be resonant and entertaining? Can that be done? Isn't that a bit much to ask? As if marketers didn't have enough to worry about. Yet some brands continue to set the bar too high. Take Ocean Spray's ad with two guys in a cranberry bog: it reinforces the brand and imagery -- and delivers a message -- while being entertaining.
That ad tops Nielsen's list of CPG TV ads from 2012 that both resonated with consumers and left an indelible brand image. The firm says that viewers were 59% more likely to connect that ad with the Ocean Spray brand than the typical brand linkage of a commercial.
“A memorable commercial is important, but won’t be effective if viewers don’t make a connection between the ad and your brand,” said Joe Stagaman, EVP, advertising effectiveness analytics for Nielsen. “The best ads both break through and accomplish a strong brand association. The latter is necessary if you want the advertising to drive sales in the store versus having a great piece of art.”
The study says an ongoing campaign theme is also effective in establishing a memorable brand identity. Dr. Scholl’s “You’re Not My Dad” ad was, per Nielsen, the one ad in the top five list that was not part of a larger campaign, "but did an excellent job of integrating the brand and using humor to showcase the product."
The leading brands and their work, after Ocean Spray, is Febreze and the "Weeks' Worth of Bad Odors" cinéma vérité ads, where people were blindfolded and put in gross rooms treated with Febreze. Third was the aforementioned Dr. Scholl's ad. Number four is Smucker's ad with boys playing hide-and-seek on a farm. Rounding out the top five is Bush's Beans "Opening Day of Summer" ad.
Nielsen says brand cues should be used early and often, and ads should leverage brand icons. The brand should be integrated into the story line, and ads should use an ownable creative concept like a brand icon or character. And the message should be a brand cue; the storyline, for instance, can work to deliver brand messages in a resonant way.