Karolus Viitala

Let’s put it bluntly. Our friends at the advertising agencies often consider a long and emotional spot to best do the trick albeit the cost might be ludicrous. At the same time auditing agencies concentrate on quantitative measures – they love getting scientific. Television channels are then again selling program sponsorships and recommending program specific buying in order to have the correct environment for the brand and the spot.

The end result is obviously some sort of blend of the above mentioned, but the point stays: there clearly isn’t one right way of executing television advertising. While we are constantly learning, television is evolving more than ever. A recent ADMAP article took an interesting spin on the subject. It seems the auditing agencies lost this round.

David Brennan, Research and Strategic Director from Thinkbox finds that the effects of TV advertising are somewhere deep in our heads and we cannot thus strive to understand how people relate to it by simply asking them albeit this is what most of our insight is based on. Brennan states that we should rather try to find out what is going on in our heads whilst we are watching the ads on television. This is just what he did and I picked three main points from the findings of his research.

1. Be Creative

It’s not about how many times we see the ad. It’s about how good the ad is. Creative masterpieces that are appealing to the viewer, even though aired less, achieve far better results. An intensive storyboard accompanied by a well composed score wrapped up to deliver an exhilarating spot is the best way to go about it.

2. Get Emotional

Getting attention shouldn’t be our primary goal on TV. We should concentrate on engaging the viewer. Instead of rationalizing, we should aim at appealing to emotions. And here’s the interesting bit – the viewer doesn’t have to love or even like the ad. Hating can lead to equally good results.

3. Time and place

The environment the spot is in has much impact. We should try to choose programming that engages the viewer in order to achieve good results. The placement of the spot should further be first or last on the break, albeit in Finland this is only applicable to the first position as regional advertising is always last on the break. Moreover timing is key as each medium chosen to be part of the package should complement each other.

According to Brennan, television makes the perfect match with online. Once the spot has engaged the viewer and left an emotional trace, it’s time to get tactical in the digital world and activate.