CPG brands are famous for the “blanket everything” approach to advertising and marketing. When a new campaign launches, you know it. There’s not a taxi, billboard, TV screen, mobile device, or website that’s not wearing a piece of branded content or hosting clickable, interactive messaging. Marketers who work with smaller brands with smaller budgets, on the other hand, are more likely to roll the dice—and spend their budgets—on a handful of the most seemingly strategic channels. Either way can work if your content matches the channel or device.
One of the primary distinctions CPG brands (and others) must make when approaching a new medium is whether it’s passive or aggressive. That’s to say—does it cater to passive interaction or does it encourage active (or “aggressive”) engagement? Knowing this informs whether a passive or an active advertisement will best serve your goals—or where you should use which if you’re running a cross-channel “blanket everything” campaign.
The rule of thumb is this: On devices that consumers expect to interact with, such as tablets and mobile, assume that touchable, clickable content is necessary to an engaging experience. And on devices that consumers don’t plan to interact with (at least in a tactile way), such as their TVs, assume that the creative itself must stand on it’s own two feet.
Here are a few ways CPG brands can formulate cross-device strategies that cater specifically to each channel they’re allocating their budget dollars to.
Know Thy Device
The advantage of being able to reach consumers with advertising on any device is clear, but truly understanding how these devices can propel different behaviors is crucial to the success of your campaign.
It should come as no surprise that mobile and tablet hold the highest potential for captivating and engaging audiences. Tapping, typing, and clicking are part of the smartphone generation’s DNA, even when it comes to advertising. Take the inclusion of a recipe in your campaign, for example. Ensuring that your audience is able to access this on the go, such as while at the grocery store, or in a context with more convenience, such as the kitchen, is one thing. The next is that it offers features and/or functionality specific to these different contexts or the devices that accompany users in them. Ultimately, content that encourages both interaction and relevancy gives consumers a chance to explore further, and potentially get further down the funnel—or in some cases, the grocery aisle.
When it comes to connected TV, viewers tend to be more committed to the content: watching more ads to completion than on a mobile device. Viewers on these types of platforms—ones namely used during leisure time—which means advertisers can capitalized on this time to raise brand and message awareness with very targeted audiences.
Intrusive vs. Interactive
With in-ad interactivity, brands can create stand-alone engagement that creates an additional form of entertainment for users, using a vast array of branded content. There’s no reason to assume that users don’t want to be engaged by digital ads, and in fact, the Crackle research found that users will stick with—and engage with—ads when they are relevantly interactive. There was a notable increase in every KPI when ads were specifically designed for platform-specific user behaviors: Engagement rates increased 500%, click-thru rates increased 600%, completion rates increased 25%, and the percentage of an ad viewed increased nearly 20%.
With the boom of the second screen, today’s ad watchers are now always involved in some other activity while ads air. Interactive content offers advertisers a way to corral that distraction into valuable activity or "controlled distractions.” In short, done right, interactive advertising can extend and prolong user engagement, rather than interrupt it.
Making It Work
The advertiser opportunity to meet consumers in their state of passive vs. active is now. TV dollars are becoming interactive dollars. Web dollars are becoming mobile dollars. But amidst this change, advertisers need formats that work across screens and solutions that scale. Not to mention, the actual production cost should not supersede the advertising and branding opportunity.
Consumers no longer bound to a specific place, or screen, or even story. As audiences have opened up their passive and interactive states media consumption states to multiple screens, advertisers must match this behavior—not just at the right time or place, but with the right message and level of interactivity.