Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Engagement and the advertiser

Billboards, magazines, social media, radio, television, trains, airports, buses, trams, and the internet ... we see advertising constantly but how many of us actually say yes to an advert?

Traditional advertising is unmistakably effective, it raises awareness, is cost effective and products are sold, but increasingly, advertisers are also turning to innovation to engage with their audience.

Lynx invested in augmented reality technology to help the launch of their latest fragrance with the tagline ‘Angels will fall’ during its ‘Angel Ambush’ campaign. Fronted by Kelly Brook as a fallen angel, commuters walking across a spot at London’s Victoria Station suddenly found themselves at the centre of the advert. Participants watching themselves on the screen soon found themselves in the presence of an angel as it fell to earth. The angel then appeared to interact with the participant moving in response to human actions. A subsequent YouTube clip was viewed more than 750,000 times and has resulted in huge popularity for the new scent.

This kind of advertisement ensures that a customer feels involved in a product and leads to excitement about the product and brand, creating a brand relationship.

Online, innovation can be harder but the key here is relevancy. Place an ad where you know your target audience will be. Contextual advertising ensures that your ad is relevant to the user. This technique recommends products to users based on the page or product they are currently viewing. Amazon utilises this technique and recommends products based on previous purchase behaviours - A ‘you bought this so you may like this’ approach.

Facebook has gone further and allows users to tailor the adverts they see at the side of their pages. Click on the cross at the top-right hand corner of the advert and you are immediately asked why you have chosen to delete this ad – was it offensive? Repetitive? Uninteresting ? This all leads to a better understanding of the types of ads you are interested in.

Clearly technology will be at the heart of innovation in this industry but for those without a massive budget, researching your target audience is key in engaging them successfully.