If there’s one thing most experts can agree on, it’s that new media—blogs, social networks, online news, etc., has redefined the way advertisers and marketers attract consumers.
Long gone are the days where companies place their entire advertising budgets on professional models, print ads, and outdoor billboards, then wait patiently for consumers to purchase their products or services. Nowadays, brands want a direct connection with consumers. And customers want a relationship with brands who embrace their differences and understand their needs.
So what makes a great ad? Randall Beard, global head of advertiser solutions at Nielsen, provides several common building blocks among the best-performing ads, regardless of category or brand.
Storytelling: Great advertising almost always tells us a good story. Great ads have cogent, understandable, and entertaining storylines that engage the audience and pull them into the world of the advertised brand. If your brand isn’t telling a good story, it should be.
- Simplicity: Simpler is generally better, and this applies to advertising too. A simple story, well told, is easily remembered. Too many cuts and complex stories create confusion and obscure your storyline. It’s that simple.
- Relatable situations: Ads that are “for people like me” are more effective. They speak directly to the consumer and what they care about. Including situations and characters that viewers can relate to make it easier for viewers to engage and care about your advertising.
- Humor: Audience-appropriate humor is another hallmark of great ads. What an 18-year-old guy attending high school and a 65-year-old retired schoolteacher find funny is probably not the same. Age appropriate humor can uplift your audience’s spirits and contribute mightily to memorability.
- Branding: The best ads have strong branding by definition. An ad can’t be a strong ad if no one remembers that it’s for your brand. Well-branded ads communicate their brand through both audio and video, and they use brand cues early and often. Often, they use mnemonic devices—iconic characters or music that immediately identify the brand.
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