I almost called today’s missive “Don’t Shoot The Messenger.” As a person who has had hundreds of meetings in which the efficacy of advertising is discussed at length I’ve noticed an ongoing theme. Clients (or their agencies) sometimes complained that they weren’t getting any sort of decent return on their media investment. In their minds, maybe TV or the Web or (now) Mobile just aren’t worth the investments and perhaps they’d be better served trying something different. My response usually involved a reminder not to shoot the messenger.
A “medium” (and I’m not writing about psychics here) is an intervening substance, as air, through which a force acts or an effect is produced. TV is a medium, as are radio, the Web, and others. Their job is to deliver the advertising message. To be blunt about it, if the message – the ad – is crap, so will be the response.
In the digital world, there is a lot of literature on the size of ads - size, format, content, design and type – and not surprisingly they generally find that bigger advertisements are more effective in attracting attention which increases response. On the other hand, other research found that design and content of the
advertisement have an impact on Click-Through Rate (CTR) and increases the interest in Advertising. The reality is if advertisements, regardless online or offline, don’t catch your attention within seconds they are considered to have failed. I’d add to that if the intrusiveness of the ad pisses off the consumer, it’s failed as well regardless of the brilliance of the creative.
There is a movement in the digital ad world to move towards a “Cost Per Viewable Impression” model which I’ve said before I think is dumb on web sellers’ parts to encourage unless TV, radio, and other media can fall into the same model (good luck with that). Regardless of impressions or medium, bad creative equates to bad responses.
You agree? What creative have you seen lately - good or bad – that really got your attention?