Winning at audience engagement.
You learn the marketing world over that by being relevant, having a good reach and resonating with your audience is the winning combination to gaining audience engagement. When advertising is relevant and timely it can create a special connection with its audience – but when it also captures the buzz of a nation, that may only be fleeting and momentary, then that’s really impressive.
Now I can’t say that I am a massive football fan, but over the last few weeks even I have been swept up in the excitement of the World Cup and the growing hopes of a nation. However, even as I sat to watch the semi-finals last night vs Croatia – I still had my marketers head on and its wasn’t always the fancy footwork that impressed me.
Great media placement and relevant content can capture an audience.
As the half time ad break rolled around I waited to see which brands had forked out the exorbitant cost for a 30 second spot in what was probably the most watched programme on ITV this year. The usual suspects were there. A sports brand. A betting brand. A supermarket. All with a tenuous link to the football but it was the Volkswagen ad that caught my eye and impressed me the most. Part of the Complete Confidence series, the ad features a man who has no doubt that England will win the Wold Cup.
Not only was the ad perfectly timed – at the midway point when we were 1-0 up and full of confidence that we could make it to the finals – but it also perfectly captured the message that VW needs to get across as a brand that has been struggling with consumer confidence and trust in the wake of the emissions scandal.
This isn’t the only example of great advertising that I have seen that has manage to capitalise on a moment to garner audience engagement. The pictures below are at M&S in my local retail park. They popped up between the quarter and the semi-final match where Gareth Southgate stated that he’d be wearing his waistcoat for every match following the Columbia win as it seemed to give the team luck. With the strapline “Bring It Home” and the #luckywaistcoat M&S capitalised on the fact that they are the Official Retailers to the England Team”. It’s a clever bit of advertising that absolutely captures the moment and capitalised on the national buzz and has seen a reported 35% increase in formalwear.
These ads remind me of when I was a young media buyer in the mid 90’s and worked on the Schweppes account. At the Brit Awards that year Oasis swept the board with a host of awards and alongside their usual laddish antics gained a lot of media coverage in the red tops the following morning guaranteeing a large TV audience when the recording of the show aired 24 hrs later. In-between the ceremony and the show being aired my clients re-recorded, edited, gained approval booked new media and went live with a new Oasis drink advert that showed a taxi driver commenting on having had Liam Gallagher in his cab. I bought the space that placed this new ad in the centre of the Brit awards. It was a momentous effort and gained us special recognition in the Campaign media awards. But more than that it showed how a brand could be relevant and topical if it can act quickly and capitalise on a fleeting opportunity.
Our fundamental job as marketers is to drive stronger and more meaningful connections between customers and brands.
To do this we need to really understand what is important to our customers at a given moment in time and then create content that is relevant and timely. It’s a shame England are out of the World Cup – but at least I got to see some great advertising!
Tricia Rogers – GingerTree Marketing Ltd
Offering freelance marketing consultancy with a wealth of experience in brand development, multichannel communications and strategic planning. View www.gingertree-marketing.uk for more information.