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...
Less works best in an audio ad. Unlike visual media, we can’t scan audio commercials only listening to the information we want, or rewind to hear it again.
What’s more, people don’t focus on audio ads. We go about our business only tuning in to something that catches our attention for as long as it's interesting and relevant.
Don’t fight it, work with your listeners: keep your spot simple and streamlined.
In part, that means using one directive. But which one is best? It depends on a few things.
People don't buy straight from an audio ad - they take the next step. So what’s the next step in your potential customers' buying journey that will ultimately help you sell your product or service?
The main points of contact for businesses these days are:
Hopefully the following will make your decision easier.
Address or physical location*
*there are cleaner, more effective ways to say your location than using your street address, but I’ll write about that another time.
These are general rules and your business could be an exception. But it’s probably not.
Don’t expect your listener to sit through information that’s not immediately relevant to them and don’t expect your audio commercial to be your whole marketing solution. It deals with one part of your consumers’ buying journey and works most effectively when you narrow down what that is.
Think carefully about which one of these directives is most useful to you and why. And remember, a marcoms expert can help you with all of this.