Ads are ubiquitous. You see them everywhere—online and in real life—different types all vying for your attention at the same time. There are advertisements for virtually every type of industry, and in some cases, industries like food and beauty are just saturated with them.
As such, there’s enormous pressure for brands to stand out. Preferably not in some weird manner (Bacoin, anyone?), but in a creatively convincing way that will boost sales.
Ads in Numbers
Nearly every economic sector suffered a setback due to the onslaught of the coronavirus. But advertising has defied the odds. Although overall spending has decreased, digital advertising maintained steady growth.
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, traditional media has suffered due to the pandemic. However, digital ad revenue showed tremendous growth in 2021. Search ad revenue in the United States grew by 33% and is now valued at a whopping $78 billion.
Traditional media advertising might have experienced losses recently, but things are looking up for them this year. In Zenith’s latest Advertising Expenditures Forecast, linear TV advertising is predicted to grow from $173.6 billion to $179.2 billion between 2021 and 2024 on average.
Meanwhile, an MRI Survey of the American Consumer found that a significant amount of them still value printed ads. Trust in the printed material stems from the established credibility of print publications. Based on newspaper advertising statistics and experts’ opinions, it will all come down to the brand itself and the nature of the product or service to decide which option is more effective.
All these figures show that people continue to be heavily influenced by advertising. The only thing that’s changed is where and how consumers view and interact with ads. The digital space has the increased targeting that both print and television lack. So it would be wise for companies to direct resources intended for brand marketing to online channels such as Google Ads.
Why Brand Advertising Matters
At this point, you could be asking: why focus on brand advertising? Marketers now have the benefit of choosing from multiple communication channels. However, that also means stiffer competition, so innovation has become a necessary tactic to win a larger audience share.
But attracting a larger audience isn’t enough. You need to keep people interested after you’ve reeled them in. The best way to do that is through brand advertising.
The main goals of brand advertising are to establish connections and build strong, long-term relationships with consumers over time. They create effective ad content to arouse people’s emotions and stay in their minds for (hopefully) years to come.
Unlike direct marketing, which drives a specific action (e.g., clicks, impressions, purchases), focusing advertising efforts on the brand or company intends to influence peoples’ buying decisions.
Some Creative Concepts
Finding creative ways to produce advertisements is challenging yet essential. Marketing materials come in all shapes and sizes. So it’s easy to be overwhelmed just by simply looking at the samples already out there.
Knowing the fundamentals helps, though. While thinking of new advertisement ideas, remember that a good ad must be simultaneously informative and innovative to attract consumers’ attention.
With that said, here are some creative concepts you can look at. May they inspire you in your quest to come up with the ultimate brand ad.
1. Use sponsored quizzes
Have you ever wondered why those Buzzfeed Quizzes (e.g., How Would You Die in “Game of Thrones”?) could draw so much attention and interaction? It’s because they rely on the reader’s ego to do all the work.
In many cases, getting people to like you is as simple as getting them to talk about themselves. It will make them feel good about themselves and leave them knowing very little about you.
The same concept can be applied to your advertising strategy. Chances are, your audience wants to know what type of Skittle or M&M they are or if they’re hosts or guests in Westworld. Find out what interests your target market and leverage that to create these quizzes.
2. Go for the innuendo (albeit with caution)
Sex sells. Bold and sometimes shocking images make people look twice. Ads filled with innuendo get pounded into the brain, making them unforgettable.
While this strategy can be wildly successful, it is not for everyone. Sexual imagery can hurt a product’s appeal if not used appropriately. So it is important to understand that only specific industries can truly utilize sexual imagery in advertising.
Having models in good shape dolled up and positioned in provocative poses might work for Equinox ads but could be considered highly inappropriate when used by charities or nonprofits.
3. Launch mystery boxes
Do you have a bunch of slow-moving products that you just can’t seem to get rid of? Try selling them as part of a mystery box.
Mystery boxes work well for several reasons. First, the human brain loves surprises. We are delighted with unexpected treats. Second, a mystery box can induce the fear of missing out. And finally, this marketing strategy will help shift slow-moving items and create space for more popular (and profitable) inventory.
4. Create an incredible unboxing experience
Spotify reports that 165,000 people search for “unboxing” on YouTube every month. More than 18 million people subscribe to channels dedicated to unboxing experiences, such as Unbox Therapy.
Clearly, there’s a demand for these types of videos. Do you have the flexibility to subtract a few dollars from your profit margin? Why not go all out and make your unboxing experience share-worthy?
You can experiment by posting unboxing videos on various social media platforms to see which one gains the most traction. So far, many are having success with it on YouTube. Specifically, you’ll need to collaborate with YouTube influencers with really engaged audiences. It also helps if that particular influencer is interested or puts out videos that fall under or are relevant to your niche.
When discussing concepts for an unboxing video, remember that having a full sensory experience is important. From watching the video, viewers should see how good it looks and be able to imagine how delicious it tastes or how luxurious it feels against the skin.
Ads are so commonplace in today’s world. Unless you live under the rock, there’s no escaping them—from the moment you scroll through social media after waking up to making the routine trip to the neighborhood cafe to get your daily latte. We are bombarded with so much advertising that it will take something fresh and out-of-the-box to capture our attention.
Thus, brands and marketers face an even greater challenge to stand out from the competition. Fortunately, the present technology provides business owners and marketing professionals with new and creative advertising methods. Yet, the sheer number of ads can be overwhelming so we wanted to highlight creative ideas that you can be inspired to make your own.
Whether going for shock value or aiming to make a positive (and lasting) impression, remember that a good ad always starts with presenting accurate information in an innovative manner.