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Have you ever watched an advert, which suddenly ends with ‘Like us on Facebook’, or ‘Follow us on Twitter’? Did you suddenly get out your phone, tablet or laptop to do exactly that? I didn’t think so. Why? Because there was no incentive or strategy behind its inclusion.
Just to clarify, in no way am I against the use of cross promotion or multi platforms. I love it when advertising is done correctly, and brands integrate their adverts with social media campaigns seamlessly and strategically. My issue is when brands take a lazy approach to ‘integrating’ social media into their advertising campaigns.
You know the ones. A seemingly normal advert, doing what advertising does best – and then all of a sudden at the end is a Facebook and Twitter Logo with the words, ‘Like Us’ or ‘Follow Us’. This makes no sense to me. It seems crowbarred on at the end to appease the internal marketing department. There’s no strategy, no reason behind its inclusion. It looks completely detached to the advert itself, and if anything, it’s just giving Facebook and Twitter free advertising.
In fact, this doesn’t even have to be through television advertising. There are plenty of restaurants and shops I have been to recently that say the exact same thing; even in my local fish and chip shop! Like us on Facebook! Why? For what reason? What do I get out of it? It makes no sense to me.
Now, if I was incentivised, motivated, or prompted to get involved online, that would be different.
So why are brands doing this? Well it is clear that in the past couple of years television advertising has changed somewhat. The digital world has forced many advertisers to stand-up and take note of the huge burgeoning online market, which is reflected in the types of adverts we are now seeing.
In terms of numbers, television advertising is still packing a huge punch. Spend actually increased in the first quarter of 2013, rising by 2.4% year-on-year, [Source: Guardian], and despite a rough second quarter of 2013 [Source: BrandRepublic], it’s fair to say that television advertising is still a powerful force to be reckoned with. There’s no doubting the power that television advertising has on branding and persuading customers, which is why it’s so crucial to get it right.
There are fears that such spend is being cannibalised by online advertising. In fact, when it comes to annual digital ad spend, recent reports have indicated that the UK market smashed the £5 billion mark in 2012; an increase of 12.5% [Source: The Drum]. It’s clear then that traditional advertising media are facing fierce competition from their new digital counterparts.
However, this isn’t a case of ‘them’ versus ‘us’. As mentioned, television advertising is incredibly powerful (yes expensive), but if you have the budget to advertise, and want to drive traffic to your website or social media profiles – then make sure you do a good job – like these campaigns:
3 Mobile pretty much got this one spot on. A dancing Shetland pony, doing the moonwalk, to ‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac. Okay, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for its target market it worked. According to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, #DancePonyDance has had over 30 million impressions on Facebook and over 4 million impressions on Twitter. The one unified hashtag was central to its success, but also 3 were intent on keeping the pony dancing with the addition of a Pony Mixer, effectively allowing you to create and share your own Pony dance. In terms of social media and content marketing, this just ticked all the right boxes. Good work.
O2’s ‘be more’ strategy has been designed to encourage their customers to embrace technological advancements, such as their 4G network release later this summer. Whilst the corporate message is a little lost, the idea of #bemoredog has taken off very well online. Using the hashtag, followers have been telling O2 how they are going to ‘be more dog’, with some even being incentivised for their efforts. There’s also YouTube videos to share and microsites such as the dog or cat answer, or cat frisbee.
Hats off to E4, Kellogg’s and Carat for this campaign. Whilst it’s a little old, it does highlight how advertising can fully embrace social media and online integration. Fans of popular E4 shows such as Made In Chelsea and Misfits were presented with an advert featuring a programme related question and a prize for answering the said question. To enter the competition, you had to download E4’s and Krave’s branded App, called ‘The Chocovault’. All winners were then announced on Krave’s Facebook page. A great example of fully integrating multi platforms, as well as a multiscreen content strategy.
From the second you watch the advert, it’s clear what the intention is. If you need stain removal tips, or have any tips you’d like to share yourself, head over to Vanish’s Tip Exchange Facebook App. Their YouTube channel also features plenty of additional easy-to-watch tips. A great example of social media and content marketing integration, promoted very well through a clear and easily identifiable advertising campaign.
At this point I think it’s crucial to say that not all adverts have to include some sort of social media integration. If that was the case, the message would be lost in a sea of social media-centric adverts. In fact, that’s why adverts like these stand out from the crowd, because they have a greater impact, purely because of the idea and message.
It’s also worth mentioning that television advertising, or any sort of offline advertising is not for all businesses. It is expensive, and is a huge investment to make. However, if your brand is thinking of creating an advert, be sure to consider how you can integrate social media and even content marketing off the back of it. This will in turn help you to build a community of followers, which in the current digital landscape is increasing in importance [See: Is Community Building More Important Than SEO?].
Whilst I don’t profess to be a TV advertiser, I do know that strategic digital integration will make your campaigns a great deal more successful than simply adding ‘Like us on Facebook’ at the end of your ad. So, if you’re thinking of integrating some sort of online awareness in your offline advertising and marketing, there are a few tips and lessons that we’ve learned from the success of other campaigns:
If you have any examples of well executed advertising campaigns that drive audiences to online channels, or even have tips yourself that you’d like to share, please leave your thoughts below.
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