Follow The Audience Into Creative Depths
The advertising space is so crowded now with so many different forms of media that it has become a little overwhelming. Not just for our audiences, but for the creators too: in such a busy space, how do we grab our audience’s attention?
When a brief is first approached by any creative team, one of the first questions asked is, who is our audience and how do we best target them? Today’s social media analytics helps us complete a picture of the target audience so we know where to reach them.
However, creating content that triggers a response from the viewer is becoming harder all the time. Why? Because we have overwhelmed our viewer. There is so much advertising all the time now that people have come to avoid it as best as they can. Global Web Index reports that 28% of Australians use ad blockers, and another 33% want to. And these percentages soar when we look at Millennials. Their main reason? They find advertising a nuisance, providing little value, and just getting in the way of their online activities.
How do we, the advertising community, adapt? We need to become braver with our content and messaging. Our advertising needs to add value, whether it’s to entertain, engage or educate. To do this a certain level of trust is required; trust in our audience and trust between clients and their creative agencies. Delving into new territory can be daunting, which is why many brands are reluctant to risk it.
The great news is that technology offers us many ways to mitigate against this risk. Let’s remember we can create an accurate background of our audience using techniques such as Google analytics, social media analytics and social listening tools. We can conduct simple AB testing of different creative executions to see what works and what doesn’t. We have the power to know more about what our audiences think, like and do than ever before.
Regardless. This information can be used poorly or brilliantly. This is where the creative flare can save the day. Every company can find out information, it is how you decide to use it that determines the effectiveness of your campaign. You can use the information to make something predictable, or you can use it to climb up to the places your viewer has been unconsciously looking for — places that draw the viewer into the content and keep them wanting more. MLA’s (Meat and Livestock Australia) current ‘Spring lamb’ campaign is a great example. It educates the audience through culture and patriotism but also builds intrigue and engagement through strange character settings and humour. It is a little weird and wonderful, making it much more unique.
So be brave, trust your audience and their constant thirst to understand. Don’t be afraid to make them slightly uncomfortable, surprise them and nourish their intrigue. Use technology to find out more about your audience, giving yourself permission to push them — and yourself — and create memorable experiences.
Written by Keith Macpherson
Designer at REBORN