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How Advertising Works Today
Mar21

How Advertising Works Today

The ARF just released the results of their ‘How Advertising Works Today’ study, touted as the most extensive industry study in more than 25 years. We were gratified to see that their findings line up very closely with ours – and mirror how we have for years been advising clients to optimize their advertising campaigns and spending allocations. Headlines from the study, and from Communicus, include the observation that campaigns that include a diversified media mix are far more effective than those that use just one or two media venues. The worst case scenario is to use just TV, with campaigns that utilize additional media performing far better than TV-only campaigns. We also have found that campaigns that only include one video execution are seriously handicapped as compared to those that use a larger number of TV spots – which parallels the ARF finding that overexposure to too few executions reduces campaign ROI. But while investing too much in TV can be problematic, this old-school, traditional medium is a must-have as the foundation for an effective campaign. Not only does TV continue to provide more broad-based awareness (even among Millennials) than any other medium, but helps to amplify the impact of other campaign media. In their attempts to keep up with changing consumer behavior patterns, we – and the ARF – find that a lot of advertisers overspend on digital. What’s worse, this overspending is exacerbated by the fact that many are running too few creative executions – far beyond the point of saturation and even straying into the territory of negative impact. Campaigns achieve the best results when they include a lot of different executions, but maintaining consistency across media types is key. We’ve seen time after time how carrying strong Brand Linked Equities throughout boosts awareness, branding and impact. The ARF found the same, both through their in-market and neuro-based approaches to measuring advertising performance. And, finally creative quality matters a lot more than media spending. Advertisers who create campaigns that are engaging and persuasive, and who employ creative best practices to ensure that consumers know what brand is being advertised no matter where they might see the brand’s messaging can achieve far better results with a relatively modest budget than their competitors who overspend on creative that isn’t up to par. The good news is that there aren’t a lot of surprises in the ARF findings. Advertisers who pay attention to this best practices advice can surely optimize their results without the trial and error that plagued many of the poor-performing brands that served as the ‘what not to do’ cases in this large, multi-brand research...

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Optimizing Your TV Investment With More Executions
Oct30

Optimizing Your TV Investment With More Executions

How far will your advertising dollars go? Advertisers are trying to make the most of their budgets by minimizing the investment in ‘non-working’ dollars – readjusting investments to produce just one TV spot in place of a pool of executions. The popular idea that more media exposures translates to better returns isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, reworking your ad budget to produce multiple spots can pay off in greater campaign effectiveness and ROI. Why is more better when it comes to the number of ad executions your consumer is exposed to? The three primary reasons are explained in detail in our Knowledge Center. See more in the Communicus Knowledge...

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Turning the Advertising Spigot to ‘Off’ – What Would Really Happen to Your Brand?
Oct14

Turning the Advertising Spigot to ‘Off’ – What Would Really Happen to Your Brand?

Conventional wisdom says you’d better not stop advertising – if you go dark for any significant period of time, your brand is sure to suffer. But is this really the case? Could your brand actually coast along just fine without advertising for up to a year or more? We quantify what happens when consumers don’t see a brand’s advertising. And mostly, brands do suffer without advertising, and the effects start to occur within a relatively short time period. But some brands suffer more severely than others, and the patterns of deterioration of what deteriorates and what doesn’t tend to vary in predictable ways. Learn more about what could be expected to happen to your brand if the advertising budget were cut in the Knowledge Center. See more in the Communicus Knowledge...

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Creative Wear-out: Why all good things must come to an end
Apr01

Creative Wear-out: Why all good things must come to an end

You’ve done it – you’ve created the world’s best commercial! It’s captivating, solidly linked to the brand, communicates a strong message, and convinces people to go out and buy your product. So now you can go retire, right? Unfortunately, even the best commercials have a lifecycle that we, as marketers and researchers, need to carefully monitor. Knowing when a commercial is delivering strong returns, when it has plateaued, and when it has worn out is key to maintaining a strong campaign in-market. The debate over allocating “working” dollars to media versus “non-working” dollars to developing creative is long-standing. While we don’t advocate over-distributing non-working dollars, we caution that advertising campaigns require freshness in order to continue to engage and persuade. A single message repeated many times is not as powerful as multiple versions of a message that are refreshed and reinvigorated over time. Surprisingly, a single commercial might reach wear-out sooner than you think. When that happens, your “working” dollars aren’t really working anymore – and could even be damaging your brand. The first target rating points (TRPs) invested behind a commercial are going to work the hardest. At the beginning of the building cycle, each TRP you spend should bring in a large number of new audience members. However, after a certain point, those who have had exposure opportunities have chosen whether or not they are going to pay attention to an ad and (unless you drastically change your targeting/media plan) incremental TRPs won’t add additional audience members. This is called commercial plateauing. You may think this is the time to stop running the commercial, but that is not the best strategy. In reality, commercials deliver their best ROI after they have plateaued. The audience has been maximized, and with added frequency the commercial can continue to be persuasive. It’s the milestone that comes next that’s the catch. After a certain number of TRPs, the commercial is going to begin to wear out in its ability to persuade. Each additional exposure to the commercial is no longer convincing those who are seeing it yet again. Yes, commercials do wear out, stop working, sometimes even negatively affect the brand, and it is at this point that they should be replaced. The level of TRPs it takes to reach this designation is different for every category, and depends on the strength of the creative. Using in-market advertising research is crucial for tracking when commercials reach each of these milestones and implementing a plan to refresh or replace a commercial as needed – so that your “working” dollars are still...

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