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Save a Little – Lose a Lot: The Potential Pitfalls of Translated Ad Copy
Apr20

Save a Little – Lose a Lot: The Potential Pitfalls of Translated Ad Copy

As more brand managers come to the realization that the Hispanic consumer plays an important role in the current and future health of their brands, the struggle to find enough money within the advertising budget to succeed across targets has intensified. Over the past decade or more, most of the larger brands have carved out sufficient ad budgets to engage Hispanics with dedicated creative, and the debate is around whether to create separate campaigns or to work Hispanic-targeted messages into a more Total Market approach. But for smaller brands with more limited ad budgets, the temptation is to create a single campaign, and to simply translate the English-language ads into Spanish for targeted Hispanic media venues. Before going this lower cost route, advertisers need to consider the tradeoffs that are involved. Not only will Hispanic-targeted ads that are just translated versions of General Market ads not work as well, they can actually backfire on the brand. We know from our research that, with the exception of the least acculturated Hispanics, the majority of Hispanics who see your targeted ads also are exposed to your General Market targeted media. Engaging with the same ad in two different languages doesn’t further develop a message by building on the existing campaign, it simply increases viewing frequency for the ad. In contrast, by developing a new ad instead of translating an existing one, advertisers can create an execution that contains relevant tones and speaks directly to the Hispanic consumer. An ad crafted specifically for the Hispanic audience will be more engaging and will contribute to the intensity of the brand’s campaign. A consumer who has engaged with multiple touch points—the ads targeting General Market consumers and the ads specifically targeting Hispanics – is more persuaded than a consumer who just sees the same ad (albeit in two languages) multiple times. But more importantly, running translated General Market targeted ads may actually be worse than running no Spanish language ads at all. Consumers know that brands are trying to establish a personal connection with them through advertising, but also knowing that these brands didn’t take the time or effort to craft something designed to actually speak with them makes them feel like a lesser priority. As a Hispanic consumer, there is no compelling reason to build affinity with a brand that generalizes you and thinks that advertising crafted for a different audience will have the same effect on you if it’s simply in your language. By translating advertisements that were shaped for General Market consumers instead of creating a different execution specifically designed for the Hispanic audience, advertisers are missing out on a big...

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Are You Sacrificing Your Brand’s Identity To Be Cool?
May01

Are You Sacrificing Your Brand’s Identity To Be Cool?

Mondelez International, one of the world’s largest snack food companies, has just announced that they are moving away from the ad agency of record approach to one in which small teams within any number of ad agencies develop creative approaches for their brands, including Oreos, Trident and Cadbury. The plan is to implement new ideas in small markets, and then roll out the concepts that produce short term sales. We congratulate Mondelez on the boldness of this move, and can understand the desire to move beyond tasks like data gathering, product positioning work and copy testing. That kind of research can seem time consuming in today’s fast-paced media climate. Additionally, when you market products like gum and candy, there’s a perceived need to appeal to younger consumers by being cool, and what could be cooler than just trying stuff, seeing what appears to work, and running with it? The risk with this approach – to sound like the curmudgeon in the room – is what should be the most important consideration: What will happen to the brand? A year or two from now, the brands that take this route might be perceived as trendy and leading edge. But what about five or 10 years from now? Will these brands stand for anything at all? Will the consumer be able to make associations with the brand? If the mental connections are just to the most recent wild and crazy idea, is there anything that’s enduring; anything that the brand really stands for? How much brand equity will be lost in this test-and-discard approach? ‘Nimble and responsive’ marketing is all the rage these days. It’s great to have the courage to go with creative that’s different, and that you just have to trust your gut and try; but there needs to be some overarching brand identity, brand principles, brand voice– brand something. We’ve always been a bit concerned with the idea that the success of an advertising program can be judged solely by short term sales results. Too often this leads to advertisers concentrating on promotion-based tactics at the expense of brand-building campaigns. In this case, the concern goes even further: If an advertiser specifically turns away from things like positioning, and focuses only on short term sales results, long term success doesn’t seem to be a result. If the proof is in the pudding, this dish could leave a bitter aftertaste in Mondelez’s mouth a decade down the road. By then, it may be too late to think about the...

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Assessing Brand Relevance: A True View
Apr15

Assessing Brand Relevance: A True View

Most major brands and advertisers have systems in place to track and quantify brand health. While the inputs and sophistication of these systems vary, there are several aspects of brand health that nearly everyone can agree are important, including: salience, differentiation, relevance, and loyalty. Several of these dimensions are appropriate for evaluation via survey research with supportive data coming from qualitative research and panel data. However, truly understanding brand relevance can be a difficult task. When asked what makes brands relevant, consumers often default to listing category-level drivers such as ‘great taste’ for food brands or ‘high quality’ for durable goods. It can be difficult for consumers to articulate why they intrinsically relate to a brand. Thus, a more robust approach is needed to truly understand what makes your brand relevant and the ever changing dynamics that underlie this. One of the most powerful tools in understanding brand relevance is the use of predictive analytics to uncover relationships between brand perceptions and purchasing behavior. By using a holistic suite of analytics, you can develop a robust picture of consumer motivations. The use of multiple models allows you to understand three key relationships: The relationships between various brand attributes The relationship between brand perceptions and future purchase intentions/brand loyalty The relationship between brand perceptions and a sale. This multi-faceted approach will give you a strong understanding of what makes your brand relevant to your target consumers today. Developing a robust point-in-time approach is an important first step in understanding brand relevance, but understanding how marketplace influences are continually affecting your brand’s relevance is equally important. There are a number of forces that can change the perceived relevance of your brand: your advertising or integrated marketing campaign, competitive campaigns, new product entries in your category and the emergence of new categories, to name a few. Thus, utilizing research that captures the dynamism of relevance is important to gaining a complete understanding of brand health. If you don’t have a complete picture of the marketplace forces impacting this dimension, you don’t have a complete and actionable sense of your brand’s health. While brand relevance is one of many important aspects of brand health, it is a dimension that is worth an investment in robust analytics to monitor and track. You need to know if any looming forces or changes in messages are threatening to move you closer to...

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