Thursday 20 June 2019

Forget tech innovation - brands just need to get the basics right with consumers

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Message: Zenith head of digital Jen Walsh told Core Connected 2019 that advertisers must concentrate on needs of consumers
Message: Zenith head of digital Jen Walsh told Core Connected 2019 that advertisers must concentrate on needs of consumers

Michael Cullen

Advertisers should focus more on what motivates consumers and their 'need states' rather than on the target audience's demographic breakdown such as social background, gender and age, Jen Walsh, head of digital at Zenith, told Core Connected 2019 seminar delegates.

Too often ads are repeated to the extent that they simply end up annoying consumers.

Three out of four online users skip the ads when searching for content on YouTube. Insisting on long-running video on demand (VOD) ads is ill-advised. The completion rate for 30-second VOD ads is only 14pc while by reducing the ad to 20 seconds consumers watching the whole ad jumps to 42pc.

Brand owners must remember to get the basics right and don't go for style over substance. Walsh said the brand logo should be in every frame of the ad. The idea must be clear and concise. As with out-of-home ads, the message needs to connect and preferably engage the consumer within five seconds. "People don't want tech innovation," Walsh added, "they just want brands to get things right." Advertisers will spend about €528m on digital this year. Banking, travel and checking on news, sport and weather updates are among the most popular online pursuits. Do people use digital overall? Yes. Nearly always? Yes. Do they like all the experiences? Not always.

Do consumers want more tech in their lives? The majority surveyed said "this is enough". Soon after Core Connected started, delegates were asked what's the first word they think of when it comes to brands and digital communications. The text replies ranged from trust, reach and engagement on one side, to confusing, annoying and fraud on the flip side.


  • Speaking at TAM Ireland's Plannervision 2019 conference, Thinkbox director Matt Hill presented new research about building a better understanding of the different needs that drive TV viewing behaviour. TAM CEO Jill McGrath spoke about how consumers adopt both new and traditional media and how they now co-exist - even for millennials. Justine Donohoe, Vodafone's brand communications planning and insights lead, talked about TV's role in driving emotion. Marie Collier, VHI's marketing communications manager, explained the importance of getting the right media mix. Lidl's media manager Robert Sheehan spoke about creative execution for TV and getting placement strategy correct.
  • Sports marketing will come under the spotlight at a conference in Dublin co-hosted by Uefa and the Federation of Irish Sport. Topics include digital engagement, sponsorship, strategic communications and the growth of women's sport. National sports governing bodies, local partnerships and anyone responsible for sport administration is urged to attend. The conference will be held in the Aviva Stadium on Friday, March 1.
  • Rugby pundit Brent Pope has returned to Radio Nova to front its coverage of the Guinness Six Nations championship. He will co-present 'The 6 at 6' magazine show with Pat Courtenay every Thursday at 6pm until mid-March. Nova signed Honda as the show's sponsor in a deal brokered by Havas Media. 'Popey' has also teamed up with the Barry Group to front campaigns for its Carry Out off-licences.
  • Irish actors Aidan Gillen and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers front a campaign aimed at raising an extra €5m for children's charity Barretstown over the next five years. Called Press Play, the plan is to expand the fun camps to serve more ill youngsters and their families. The charity currently needs to raise €5.8m a year to runs its programmes.
  • And finally ... Ferrari is in pole position as the world's strongest brand. The latest Brand Finance report puts it ahead of Deloitte, PwC and EY. Amazon retains the title of the world's most valuable brand, ahead of Apple and Google. China's answer to Netflix, iQiyi, is now ranked as the world's fastest-growing brand.

Michael Cullen is editor of;

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