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

Recent growth of audience targeting and programmatic implementation has downgraded the importance of environment as the focus for advertising placement. However, we believe that the value of environment in advertising is still an extremely important factor to consider when you are planning an ad campaign.

Recently there has not been much of a focus on the importance of environment in advertising. However there have been a number of independent studies that show the value of context in digital environments on a number of key business and brand measures.

The importance of context

Before we dive into the importance of context in advertising we need to understand how context affects the way we perceive information.

“Information is not processed neutrally. We are swayed by contextual cues.” – Richard Shotton, Deputy Head of Evidence at MG OMD

Take a look at these symbols…

The CAT symbolsTo most people when they look at the above symbols together they read ‘THE CAT’. However if you look closely you can actually see that the same symbol is used for the ‘H’ in ‘THE’ as the ‘A’ in ‘CAT’. Most people can’t tell this on first glance as our brains immediately see ‘THE CAT’ as we try to make sense of the symbols. This exercise demonstrates the impact that context has on our perception of information. 

Original beats social

“Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust drives revenue.” – Andrew Davies, Marketing Keynote Speaker

In 2012 AOP and comScore carried out a study to discover levels of trust among consumers. They found that 30% of consumers trusted publishers on social networks. Compared to 60% who trusted publishers on original content sites. Furthermore they found that only 23% of consumers trusted advertising they saw on social networks. While 45% of consumers trusted advertising they saw on original content sites.

The study also found that original content sites saw a 23% uplift over social networks in the usage of branded search terms. Consumers were also 153% more likely to visit an advertiser’s site after seeing their ad on an original content site, compared to social networks.

These results all point to the overwhelming fact that advertising on original content sites is measurably more effective versus other online media in delivering on all levels of the purchase cycle. From awareness all the way through to making a purchase.

So, where does the market stand on trust?

We ran a study in 2018 to find out how consumer trust has changed. We found that 43% of consumers say their trust in advertising on social media has fallen over the past year. 61% of consumers believe that more than 50% of the information they read on social media is fake.

These figures are not surprising given the amount of negative press that has surrounded social networks over the past year. Including the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal, brands boycotting YouTube due to their ads being displayed alongside inappropriate content, and the rise in fake news appearing on social networks.

The study also found that trust amongst consumers was 68% higher for information that appears on newspaper sites compared to social media. Reinforcing the fact that consumers still believe that premium environments offer higher credibility.

Why are premium environments still so effective?

As people aren’t aware of the way in which context impacts their perceptions, it can be hard to articulate why premium environments are so effective. However, removing explicit and conscious responses can give us a greater understanding of their impact.

In 2018 Newsworks ran a study by gathering data from consumers brains when they viewed ads in different environments. We created the below graph from the data they collected in order to show how ads in premium environments produce greater levels of engagement and long-term memory encoding amongst consumers compared to ads on social networks.

2018 Newsworks study graph

As we’ve seen, rather than just serving your ad to the right person, with the right message, at the right time, you also need to consider that it’s in the right place. It’s an overused phrase, but context is still king and the value of environment in advertising is still extremely important. With trust being at the forefront of consumer’s minds, especially when it comes to social media, it’s important to consider which environment you decide to post your ad on as it could make or break an advertising campaign.

To find out more about the importance of trust and environment in advertising, and to discover our unique emotional testing and targeting capabilities, exclusive premium inventory and industry-leading brand safety certifications, head over to our advertisers page or get in touch with one of our team filling in your details on our contact us page.

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

Every month Unruly scours the web for the best ads around – then puts them into this handy list so you can catch up with anything you’ve not seen. This weeks selection was guest curated by Bobbie Parker, who spent two weeks with the marketing team on work experience. 

July’s selection of ads are very different from one another with a variety of messages and emotions spread across each video.

It includes Apple presents us with a situation we’ve all been in and Calvin Klein explores empowering language for women. Also in this hit-list we have a romantic encounter from Orange, Smart Energy gives us a fly on the wall look at the home, and Coca-Cola shows us how the World Cup can bring a country together.

5. Smart Energy GB – “Powering Britain”

Smart Energy GB shows our relationship with electricity over a 24 hour period. It shows the humorous, romantic and routine things within our day. Not only does it highlight how much energy we use on a daily basis, but it also makes the case for why we should invest in a smart meter to keep track of our energy spending. Think of the planet people!

4. iPhone X – Memory – Apple  

Apple has given us this high stakes game show of an ad, which outlines how a separate password needed for every account can induce anxiety and panic! This ad gets very intense very quickly, with and shows an audience get increasingly tense about whether the hero can guess the correct answer. Fortunately all problems are solved with the brand new iPhone X and its new face ID. Phew!

3. Calvin Klein – Introducing ‘I Am Women’

Who runs the world? Girls. Calvin Klein is doing its bit for equality and empowerment by celebrating women in the name of its new fragrance. With Lupita Nyong’o and Saoirse Ronan in discussion, this video talks about how the phrase ‘I Am Woman’ not only represents an individual, but women of the whole world.

2. Coca-Cola – Fifa World Cup 2018

Coca-Cola has impressed us once again with another strong World Cup association. This time the soda brand shows how the World Cup can bring out the patriotic side of people, and how countries who are divided can join as one for a big sporting event. This ad shows that football is more than just a game, but something that promotes healthy competition and team spirit. 

1. Orange – Orange brings you closer to what matters most to you

Orange’s romantic way of representing their mobile network is beautifully shot and very striking. It shows a love story in which two individuals are separated by a great distance, and tracks their adventures as they follow the orange (as in ‘Orange’ – geddit?) rope to find each other. Aww sweet.

Watch more ads.

News UK and Unruly were out in force at Advertising Week Europe this week, with team members appearing in a number of lively discussions throughout the four-day event.

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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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Unruly co-CEO Sarah Wood is one of 30 executives in the digital industry to watch out for in 2016, according to Variety.

With CES 2016 kicking off in Las Vegas this week – celebrating the biggest innovations in tech that will affect the industry for the year ahead – Sarah was identified by the magazine as one of 30 business leaders at the forefront of making noise in 2016.

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It’s been a record-breaking year for the online video market. Over the last 12 months we have seen ‘Friends Furever’ take the crown as the most shared video ad of all time, while Facebook Video ads have raised the speed of sharing to a whole new level.

The ad industry is changing faster than it ever and with it we’re seeing marketers continue to adjust their definitions of online video success.

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As Vine continues to have a huge impact on video marketing across the web, more and more brands are clamouring for their 6 seconds of fame.

But with a tidal wave of short-form content engulfing the Open Web, it’s not always easy to find the best of the bunch. So to help you find quality inspiration and liven up your hump day, Unruly has rounded up this week’s best branded Vines. The latest round of innovative short-form content includes the best basketball free throw you’ve ever seen, a wandering pen and a magic hole in one.

So cancel your plans for the next half-minute and enjoy!

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Being one of the world’s coolest brands certainly has its downsides. Just ask Apple. The life of the tech giant is apparently not too dissimilar to that of a medieval monarch: you’re essentially in charge, but that doesn’t stop them from making jokes and unflattering impressions of you behind your back.

So it was hardly a surprise when the launch of the Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus last month prompted a predictable backlash from disgruntled journalists and consumers alike.  From U2 to ‘Bendgate’,  Apple know all too well there are always brickbats among the bouquets.

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