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How to Create Well-Branded Advertising

by Sabrina Clarke , 12.09.2012

Advertising basics

Strategic analysts believe that global advertising spend in 2012 will total a whopping $465.5 billion, with the US estimated to spend $152 billion on advertising. While consumers may be frustrated by advertising’s constant interruption of their favorite TV show or, more increasingly, by ‘friend’ requests to join a brand’s Facebook®page, advertising is a strong and stable industry that is certainly here to stay.

It is said that advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to continue their positive behavior or take some new action towards a brand. This does not mean that after the advertising has been experienced one must run to the store and buy the advertised brand. What this refers to is that a paid form of communication must result in a deeper relationship with the brand and will either in the short- or long-term, generate a sales lift. As such, what is essential to all forms of advertising is the role of the brand. After all, consumers need to know what brand they should buy.

This article places a stronger emphasis on TV advertising; however, many of the insights are applicable to other forms of communication.

GfK’s approach
An ad should seek to grab the viewer‘s attention with an engaging story or Ad Experience. The brand should be firmly tied to this engaging story or ad experience, which is defined as Branded Breakthrough. This presents an opportunity for the message to be delivered, known as the Product/Service Signal. The end result is a positive change in consumer behavior towards the brand, Brand Lift.

Brand signals

When we meet someone for the first time, the pattern of behavior is some sort of greeting ‘hello’ or ‘good afternoon/morning’ followed by one’s name. It’s fair to say that most people remember and can immediately recall the name of the person they just met. Yet according to our global database, 35% of consumers cannot recall the name of a brand after being exposed to an advert in a distracting environment. So what can marketers do to better guide viewers to the brand? How can marketers ensure that the brand plays a heroic role in their advertising? There are a number of ways to accomplish this through the use of:

  1. Characters
  2. Colors
  3. Music

Characters: The consistent use of characters, whether animated or real-life, can serve as a direct guide to the brand. The edible M&M’s® brand ambassadors, along with Ronald McDonald®, are great examples of brand characters that work as a brand short-cut. In Canada, Rogers® Communications poses a family for all of their advertising touch points. The family is used to advertise many of their categories, including, wireless, internet and cable. It should be noted that while characters can be highly beneficial in conveying the parent brand, they can sometimes overshadow sub-brand messaging.

Colors: The use of red has become quite synonymous with Special K® advertising. Additionally, Cadbury® a global confectionery brand, frequently uses the color purple as its brand signal, which it has leveraged from its iconic purple packaging.

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