In the Anatomy of an Ad series, I look at the art and a science of creating a commercial or campaign. In this post, I look at the four types of advert.
A branding commercial or campaign is purely about developing a long-term emotional connection with your target demographic. It’s about connecting by communicating your brand values and it may not even feature your product or service.
The first spot in this campaign for Level, a UK nightclub, is branding (the latter two are a combination of branding and CTA. More on that below).
Call To Action (CTA)
Rather than cultivating connection, the primary focus of a CTA is about selling your product or service. Commercials are rarely pure CTA, but this ad for Dell is a good example.
This style of commercial combines advertising functions, usually branding and CTA.
In this example for City of Liverpool College, the branding elements are the voiceover artists (especially Theo, who featured across multiple platforms in the campaign), tone of voice, concept, some of the phrasing, the slogan, and the background music. The CTAs are college enrolment and Open Day attendance.
These ads can include branding elements, but the focus is a message that intends to inform, educate or alter opinion. Usually they’re Community (or Public) Service Announcements (CSAs / PSAs), or Government messages. This campaign for Merseyside Police is educational.
The most common type of commercial is a branding and CTA combination. In an ideal world, you’d run at least one on-going brand campaign and supplement it when needed, with combination commercials.
Pure branding usually requires long-term commitment before you see tangible ROI, so many businesses don’t see enough value in it. If you want business longevity, though, you need to continually cultivate your brand. Including branding elements in your CTAs is a logical compromise.
When you understand what type of commercial you need, it’s easier to narrow down your message, concept and content.
More to come...