It’s a fantastic time to be involved in the digital marketing world. Programmatic advertising has brought about revolutionary changes that transform the way we market brands to consumers. Marketers can now target across multiple platforms using customised messaging and split-second delivery. These refinements to the marketing model have enabled it to become drastically more efficient and agile. The big data that programmatic provides is hugely compelling, but despite this enhanced customer knowledge, marketers need to keep on their toes in order to harness opportunity and make their brands stand out.
The Benefits of Being Remarkable
The emergence of programmatic has increased competition, so it’s all too easy for a message to get lost among the plethora of campaigns consumers are exposed to. The key is to stop being part of the herd and be remarkable. The benefits of a brand achieving remarkability are multitudinous. Think competitive advantage, greater customer retention, reduced marketing spend and even niche domination. Forging that remarkable campaign is no easy feat – indeed, it’s no longer enough to simply allocate money and rely on algorithms. However, with a team of savvy creatives on board, a confident brand is well-poised to do just that.
How The Big Brands Have Done It
You may have noticed the use of the term “confident brand”, above. The reason a brand has to be confident to achieve remarkability is that it needs to stand for something. Let’s take a look at Coca-Cola. Most consumers are probably aware that the Coke message is about nostalgia, sharing and happiness. These are incredibly deep and positive sentiments, and Coca-Cola understands the importance of relaying these same values in different ways. Its recent campaigns include “Share a Coke”, launched globally starting in 2011, in which bottles were personalised with Christian names. Although established as one of Interbrand’s Best Global Brands, securing third place in 2014 behind Apple and Google, “Share a Coke” grew sales for the first time in a decade.
Other innovative Coca-Cola campaigns include “Small World Machines” – vending machines that enabled people in different countries to interact via a live video feed – and “Sharing Cans” that twisted apart into two separate cans.
Best Global Brands’ number one spot-holder, Apple, showed us how it’s done with their Christmas 2013 commercial, called “Misunderstood”. The ad tells the story of a teen visiting the family home for the holidays but who remains glued to his iPhone right up until Christmas morning, when everyone gathers to exchange gifts. He then unveils his present, which is a video of all the special moments the family have been sharing, captured and edited on his iPhone. The advertisement implies these features through its heart-warming story, never once presenting specs, or even a close-up of the device. ‘The iPhone and AirPlay are secondary players to the characters who use them, and that is what makes the ad stand out’. The film won an Emmy for Outstanding Commercial in 2014.
Smaller Brands Have Remarkable Campaigns Too
It’s not only the big players that have the power to make a splash with their marketing campaigns. Just take a look at Spanish brewer, Senador Volstead. The beer producer embarked on a bold campaign that actually hides its products from consumers, presenting a website that at first appearances seems to be a teddy bear shop. Inspired by the alcohol prohibition that Senador Volstead, whom the brand is named after, decreed in 1920, the campaign is all about hiding the beer as would have been the case during this era.
Back in 2007, rock band, Radiohead, made the headlines when they announced their “In Rainbows” album would be a pay-what-you-want release, meaning customers could pay any amount, including nothing at all. The album entered the UK and US charts at number one, selling over three million copies in a year and ranking as one of the best albums of the decade.
How to Inject Originality Into Your Programmatic Campaign
Being remarkable is all about being original. This doesn’t mean your brand has to be reinvented for each campaign. It’s actually about saying the same thing over and over again in fresh new ways, using new modern idioms. While it can be tempting to continue doing something that has worked in the past, this isn’t a wise approach. The best way to achieve success is to utilise the valuable consumer insights that programmatic provides and tailor a unique campaign that communicates your brand’s message whilst doing so in a new and innovative way.
Whether your ad is display or video, ensure any characters appeal to both genders and are relatable. Encourage audience participation where appropriate and make concise, shareworthy content. Don’t be afraid to try different marketing channels and embrace things that are out of the ordinary within your niche. Focus on what makes you different from your competitors and play on this point. For example, in its 2001 “Let’s Motor” campaign, compact car manufacturer, Mini Cooper, shouted about not using the size of our vehicles to compensate for other shortcomings, as well as reclaiming our garage space. Whatever new angle your creatives can conjure, an original programmatic campaign is guaranteed to give your brand the best possible chance of success.