Thursday, January 16, 2014

tell me now 'n' show me how. to understand what makes a good ad?

While I have no desire to repeat the 'make the logo bigger' kerfuffle that followed my comments on the lack of branding in the John Lewis Christmas ad being best understood as an exception rather than a rule - there's another example in this area that has cropped up.

And while my JL comments were actually misinterpreted by most of the detractors I stand by them.

The purpose of branding is, for the most part, creating mental availability - making the brand easy to remember and salient in buying situations.

Creativity is, obviously, the vehicle by which this happens.

But it is still advisable to introduce distinctive brand assets into the content quicker and sometimes more frequently.

So I was interested to view Doddsy's comments on the fantastic new Guinness spot, and will then humbly suggest perhaps a middle way.

John says:

'Guinness's new advertisement featuring the elegant gentlemen of Brazzaville ties in well with their theme of individuality and is unquestionably interesting and visually arresting. But, oh how they shoe-horn in the product shots towards the end and emphasise that this is indeed an advertisement and not a slice of culture.

Personally, I'd have settled for a single mention at the end of the piece and the assumption that the viewer was intelligent enough to make the connection. This way, I fear the reaction is much more likely to be along the lines of "What's this got to do with Guinness?"

If we agree that effective advertising needs to do two things.

1. Be well branded
2. Get noticed.

Then the spot definitely does point 2 but perhaps, to John's point, doesn't do point 1 so well as the product and branding seems somewhat clumsily placed.

So here's my first question.

What's so funny 'bout getting the branding in from the get-go right up front?

'Guinness presents...' then on with the show?

Creatives hate this idea when I suggest it, though I've never had a decent explanation of why.

Second question is around the obvious lack of paid promotion.

The clip is currently sitting at a paltry 165k views despite having all the hallmarks of multi-million viral smash.

There's solid data from Karen Nelson-Field's research at Ehrenberg-Bass that suggests the creative device used (essentially 'personal triumph') tends to be shared the most, and it has the high arousal positive emotional response element (inspiration, probably) plus a kick arse swamp rockin' soundtrack by The Heavy.

Again, according to the data the single biggest predictor (assuming it does the tricks as mentioned above) of online video sharing is it's initial distribution.

For the best performing videos it's about 8 views to 1 share.

24 to 1 is the average.

So to get sharing, initial seeding/paid support is key.

The social media myth is that we need to reach a few influentials in order to reach millions, in actual fact the opposite is true.

You need to reach millions to infect the rest.

Also, to that point, and in an apples for apples situation (i.e. Compelling content that evokes high arousal emotional response) brand videos that are on TV + online are likely get shared more than online only.

But in summary.

If a video evokes a high arousal positive response then the amount of branding present will not inhibit shares and views so, don't be shy, get it in there, right up front.

Even the greatest, most creative most exciting video if only seen by a few people, wont get many shares. Get it in front of as many as possible.

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