5 habits of highly effective advertisers

by Lynette Dicey
There are multiple routes to creative effectiveness. The most successful advertisers, says Kantar, have a way of working that starts long before the ad is produced: they build on consumer insights to identify a creative territory for the brand that can become the foundation for ads that run across channels, markets, cultures and time.

The first habit is being distinctive. This is about creating the ability to be noticed and remembered in a world where there is a profusion of ads. There are many ways of achieving this; one of the most popular is to be distinctive. This means standing out from the category as a minimum and ideally standing out from other advertising as a whole.

The second habit is branding intrinsically. This habit is about making sure the attention won by the ad is in the service of the brand. “Analysis of our database shows that branding is the single most important element in an ad’s success,” says Kantar, adding that that because the vast majority of advertising works some time after exposure, it needs to be committed to memory in association with the brand to maintain an effect when people are exposed to it at some future point.

The third habit is being meaningfully different. For some ads, says Kantar, being distinctive and well-branded can be enough, because being creatively distinctive can get a brand noticed and build some basic brand associations. However, to grow market share or defend premium pricing, creative output should also create impressions that position the brand in a meaningful and different way in people’s memories. “BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands’ data shows that brands can grow based on creative excellence alone, but those that also convey a meaningful difference can grow twice as much.”

The fourth habit focuses on triggering emotion. This habit is about eliciting emotion from the consumer. Emotion is incredibly powerful in advertising. “Triggering an emotional response is first and foremost a way to get attention, because we feel before we think: emotions make us take notice,” says Kantar. However, emotion in advertising can also contribute to the brand being seen as emotionally differentiated and can drive emotional meaningfulness, by leaving impressions of the brand as being caring, funny, famous, lovable or simply “a brand for me”.

The fifth and final habit is about talking to the consumer. This can be expressed in several ways: it’s a discipline, but it’s also recognition that brand managers or marketing directors might be so close to the brand that they don’t see its advertising in the same way as their target audience does. They test their ads with consumers to check that the tactics they’ve employed in their creative output deliver in terms of distinctiveness, branding, making a meaningful difference and evoking emotion.

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