Emotional ad campaigns are for life, not just for Christmas!

Emotional ad campaigns create preference, lead to decisions and are about twice as effective as rational advertising. In order to stand out, and leave an impact on consumers, brands are continuing to push boundaries in their advertising.

This week our VP of Insights Becky Waring and our SVP of Data Sam Sherson gave a great talk on the main stage at Tech Retail in London on unlocking emotion in advertising. For those who missed it, we’ve taken some of the highlights from their talk and pulled out the key themes. 

Nike and LeBron James

This month Nike released a powerfully emotive ad as part of their ‘Just Do It’ 30th anniversary campaign. The new short film entitled ‘Dream Crazy’ features a number of athletes who are household names. All the athletes have leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.

On Labor Day Nike’s ad was launched in the US to huge debate and polarised opinion. This was mainly down to the use of Colin Kaepernick in their ads who controversially refused to stand during the American national anthem before NFL games.

According to Edison Trends, over the bank holiday weekend, online sales in the US for Nike grew an astonishing 31%. This demonstrates the power that emotional ad campaigns continue to have on audiences.

Driving sales with emotional ad campaigns

Using emotion to drive sales is a trend we continue to see across research studies. IPA ran a study around emotional advertising. They found that ‘emotional ad campaigns are more effective and more profitable than rational ad campaigns, even in rational categories’. 31% of emotional ad campaigns reported very large business effects after 1-2 years, compared to 16% for rational ads.

They also found that 43% of emotional ad campaigns reported very large business effects after 3 or more years. This was compared to just 23% for rational campaigns, indicating that ‘the longer the time frame, the more emotions drive profit’.

emotional ad campaigns vs rational ad campaigns chart

Nielsen ran a study in 2015 entitled Consumer Neuroscience. They found that ads with above average electroencephalogram scores delivered a 23% lift in sales volume, confirming the idea that emotions drive sales.

electroencephalogram scores

At Unruly, we tested thousands of videos and found an overwhelming correlation between emotional ad campaigns and sales.

correlation between emotional ad campaigns and sales

So how does it all work?

It was the great poet Maya Angelou who said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

We looked in our video testing database and analysed the UK retail category to uncover some powerful examples of the use of emotional advertising in this sector.

The most emotive retail ad we’ve ever tested in the UK is John Lewis’ ‘Buster the Boxer’ from Christmas 2016. However, with this being such a familiar example, we decided to look at a different emotive ad, ‘Come Home’ by German brand Edeka. Since this ad has been tested in both the UK and Germany, it gave us an opportunity to highlight how cultural differences affect emotional responses across different markets.

The video evoked a strong reaction in both countries. However, emotions ran much higher in Germany where people were more likely to feel surprise and shock. Whereas UK viewers were more likely to feel warmth. Our cultural analysis revealed that Germans have a more “concerned” cultural leaning than the UK. Meaning they worry about the impact that their behaviour has on themselves and others. Therefore the ad’s message of responsibility to others resonated particularly strongly in the ad’s native market.

Using objective frameworks

Without an objective framework like the one we used in our analysis, it can be very hard to know whether you have an accurate understanding of other cultures. This was illustrated at Tech Retail by playing a game with the audience to see if they could identify which markets were being described by the words “hurried, reserved, and restrained” vs “relaxed, uninhibited, and impulsive”. Becky revealed that these two seemingly opposing descriptions were in fact both referring to Americans. The first is how Mexicans see Americans, and the second is how they are perceived by the Japanese!

It became clear when ranking retail ads by emotional impact, that the top end of the chart was totally dominated by Christmas ads. So the analysis was split into “Christmas retail advertising” and “everyday retail advertising”. Outside of Christmas ads, retail advertising was considerably less emotive than the UK market norm. 11% lower than norm, whereas Christmas ads are 34% higher! Crucially, brand metrics like favourability (-17%) and intent to find out more (-7%) were also below par.

Becky and Sam’s closing advice for retailers?

Emotion is for life, not just for Christmas! Commit to an emotional ad strategy that is both long-term and consistent throughout the year. To this and your business will stand out in customers’ minds.

To find out more on how we use emotions to supercharge ad campaigns check out UnrulyEQ or get in touch with one of our team.

Unruly insights from Tech Retail

Our EMEA Managing Director, Jason Trout, talks about his experience of being on the mechanics of publisher monetization panel at ATS London.

This week I was part of a panel at ATS London 2018, which was focused on the mechanics of publisher monetization. I was joined by the Digital Sales and Innovation Director for The Telegraph Karen Eccles, Damon Reeve from the Ozone Project and Jourdain Casale, VP of Global Intelligence at Index Exchange. 

It was a really interesting panel to be a part of. Especially as publisher monetization continues to be a key talking point within our industry, and a key focus area for us as a business. We began the discussion by talking about how publisher monetization strategies have changed over the past 12 months.

New marketplaces

At Unruly we have seen first hand how premium publishers are slowly pulling away from tackling their competition individually, to a more collective approach. This has led to alliances and JV’s such as Ozone, the Verified Marketplace and the Premium Sport Marketplace. These marketplaces are becoming more and more popular among advertisers and it’s easy to see why when you look at the stats. The Verified Marketplace’s UK reach alone is over 39.4 million, and the average viewability of ads is 78.6%, which is 15.1% higher than the MOAT benchmark.

The conversation then moved to the shift in focus from open market-places, to a more closed and controlled market, and whether this presents an opportunity for publishers to develop closer relationships with advertisers.

I’ve heard buyers say for several years now that they want to transition from managed to programmatic ad delivery. At Unruly we’ve seen this trend play out firsthand but we’ve also seen an increase from the buy-side requesting guarantees in their programmatic deals.

As new models mature, like Programmatic Guaranteed (PG), you will see closer relationships forged between programmatic buyers and publishers. I believe this is a natural progression as models like PG closely mirror that of traditional IO and direct-sold business, where both buyer and seller negotiate directly.

consuming news on an ipad

PMPs versus programmatic

We then moved on to look at the scalability challenges with PMPs versus programmatic and automated guaranteed, and how they could be overcome. In my opinion, PMPs in their current guise will continue to offer both buyers and sellers an environment away from the open exchange to practice control. That said, we are seeing a growing trend from buyers to secure guarantees in their PMPs. This has resulted in the increase of programmatic guaranteed features we are seeing released from both buy and sell-side vendors.

When we talk about scale, traditional PMPs have always struggled to meet this requirement as there has never been a commitment from publishers to send volumes. At the same time, buyers have lacked commitments to spend. Programmatic guaranteed is evolving at exactly the right point in time. We know the holding costs are under immense pressure to become 100% programmatic and at Unruly, we believe PG sits at the intersection of the IO and legacy PMP. We expect it to be the catalyst to increased spends in programmatic this year.

Publisher monetization opportunities

Finally we touched upon new monetization opportunities, and what the tech layer is doing to help and support publishers with this. I believe we need to first understand the value of a publisher buying, rather than licensing. In some scenarios M&A is the logical path, that said, very few of the publishers I have spoken to actually have the appetite to start spending hundreds of millions on tech and data assets when they are fully aware that in the age of GDPR and social networks it is data, context, and service that help you to truly differentiate, not ad or martech ownership.

To find out more about the Verified Marketplace and our other offerings check out our products page. Alternatively get in touch with one of our team.

You can also keep up to date with the latest on publisher monetization and other adtech trends by following us on Twitter.

Unruly insights from ATS London

Initial Companies to Receive TAG-ID Include American Express, AOL, AppNexus, Bloomberg, Disney, Facebook, Forbes, Google, GroupM, Horizon Media, Index Exchange, IPG, McDonald’s, NBCUniversal, Omnicom, OpenX, Publicis, Rubicon Project, Time Warner Cable, Viacom, Unruly, Warner Bros., Weather Company, WPP, Yahoo, Ziff Davis

WASHINGTON, DC – July 26, 2016 – The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an advertising industry initiative to fight criminal activity in the digital advertising supply chain, today opened a new era of transparency in digital advertising as it announced the first hundred companies to be approved for participation in the TAG Registry.

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The age of interruption is over.  Ad blocking continues to be the most talked about topic in the ad industry this year, with ad blocking use reaching record levels.

In fact, according to a new eMarketer report, ad blocking has grown 35% quarter-over-quarter globally. The US has one of the lowest ad blocking adoption rates at 9%. But that doesn’t mean that publishers can sit back and relax. So what are the options available to publishers to take back control of their ad revenues?

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This month marks 10 years since Scott, Matt and myself started up Unruly.

From distributing our first campaign “Krumping – Matrix Style!” out of a leaky office in the Truman Brewery, in Shoreditch, (where it was *just about* possible to upload a video on the single ADSL line without crashing the system) to becoming a high-profile scale-up and part of the News family in 2015, the Unruly journey over the past decade has been incredible, exhilarating and beyond our wildest dreams.

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If you’re the sort of person who forgets Mother’s Day every year, then online advertising has you covered. Advertising loves celebrating mums almost as much as it does sporting events and the festive season – and not without good reason.

From brands as diverse as Procter & Gamble and Dove, plenty of mom-themed adverts have seen massive sharing success in recent years, not to mention inspiring more than a few appreciative phone calls home.

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A sneaky peak at the Queen in bed and a hairy mole rising up the ranks to become an unlikely advertising superstar. It’s just another week in Adland.

After a week watching the best (and worst) video advertisements on the net, we’ve picked the five essential ones to watch so you can spend the rest of your time getting lost in the land of cats, goats and pimple-popping clips (you know who you are).

So without further ado, here is our weekly round-up of the five ads you should watch right now.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

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Europe is rude, the future has four legs and animals are best buds.

Sound strange? Well, it’s just another week in AdLand.

Here’s the five best ads Unruly have been sampling this week.

Enjoy!

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The Super Bowl is this Sunday, but you don’t need to care about American football to feel the event’s shockwave already. Rivalled only by the Olympics and the World Cup, the Super Bowl is perhaps advertising’s biggest day of the year, with brands, creative agencies and celebrities fighting tooth and nail to have the most talked-about spot of the game.

While the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots face off on the field this weekend, an equally tense battle has already started behind the keyboards of some of the world’s biggest brands.

The rise of social media advertising has irreversibly changed the face of Super Bowl advertising, producing hype and speculation days and weeks before the event. While the measure of a brand’s Super Bowl success was once the water cooler conversation on Monday morning, share rates and hashtags have made brand competition even more prominent.

When ads like last year’s ‘Puppy Love’ from Budweiser reached over 2 million all-time shares, it’s easy to see what the fuss is all about. With debuts, teasers and headlines dropping all week, Unruly is here to pick apart the best Super Bowl XLIX has to offer.

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There are no winners and losers on Christmas day, except maybe when it comes to share-happy brands. As with “water cooler events” like the World Cup or the Super Bowl, Christmas is heavily-contested marketing ground, with brands teasing their advertising strategies months ahead of the big day.

Though we’re still weeks away from popping the first box on our advent calendar, plenty of brands have started throwing their novelty Santa hats into the ring. And it’s easy to see why. According to Unruly’s Viral Video Chart, two of the twenty most-shared viral ads of all time are Christmas spots, accruing nearly five million shares between them.

The question is: who’s found a gift in their stocking and who’s found coal? Christmas advertising is a delicate art, and John Lewis’ early contender shows the retailer knows exactly what it’s doing.

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