Opinion: May I Have Your Attention, Please? Advertising Creativity Has Finally Caught Up

Attention please neon sign on the brick wall with a triangle icon. Vector illustration for web or print projects.

In this guest post, Georgia Woodbourne (pictured below), general manager for APAC at Inskin Media, trumpets the power of creativity in delivering high-impact digital advertising…

When you stop to think about it, the internet is truly a phenomenal tool. Whether it’s the ability to stream live TV, download movies or video call with your best mates, the internet has revolutionised our lives and has blown creative opportunities wide open.

And yet advertising – an industry that spends billions of dollars every year on digital platforms – has been relatively slow to catch up and has only recently begun to harness the real power of high impact and creativity. Standard display advertising might be cheap, but it is rapidly losing the ability to create a positive emotional response from consumers.

The average consumer is so bombarded with ads that they have to spend a lot of time sorting out which ones are relevant and worth their attention. They do this by ignoring the mass of ads – those that aren’t targeted or contextualised. The modern world demands a lot of our attention, and the advertiser who opts for low-cost, high-volume inventory will only get what they pay for – namely, appearing on an awful lot of websites, but without gaining any real traction.

This is why high-impact advertising is starting to gain so much attention. Placing powerful creative content within premium, relevant environments has been proven to drive brand awareness and consumer recall as scrollers are stopped in their tracks – quite literally – by brilliant advertising that demands 15 times the attention of standard display ads.

Creativity is the number one driver of trust in advertising. Indeed, according to Nielsen, it accounts for a 47 per cent contribution to sales, while bad creative is known to have a negative impact on a campaign’s sales performance. Consider the cheap, badly designed leaflet that comes through your door offering some kind of generic home improvement service and listing nothing more than a mobile phone number for a quote, versus a glossy brochure with beautiful imagery and neat, clear content directing you to a website and a series of customer reviews. They may be trying to achieve the same end goal, but which one is more likely to succeed?

Today, brands have little excuse to dismiss high-impact ads. They can be bought across a network of thousands of trusted publishers, making it easy for them to stand out in an increasingly crowded field.

And the halo effect of being associated with these websites is a significant added bonus – their audience will be appreciative of a high-quality, aesthetically pleasing online experience, while the sheer number of publishers now offering high-impact advertising means there will always be an opportunity for a brand to get their creative in front of the perfect audience. According to biometric research conducted in 2019, ads viewed in high-quality mobile web environments were perceived 74 per cent more favourably than the same advertisements seen in low-quality environments.

While targeting and tailored are, of course, crucial when considering the success of an ad campaign – with analytics essential in order to optimise any live or future campaigns – the number one consideration for every marketer should always be the user experience. This should remain the focal point of every single digital campaign, yet all too often it appears to be an afterthought, at best.

High-impact ads make a lasting impression without interrupting the browsing experience – indeed, they often enhance the user’s time on the site. Impactful, high-impact formats command the consumer’s attention with creative that has the ability to be both eye-catching while, conversely, blending seamlessly into its environment.

And, as with every successful digital ad concept, different formats are created for different devices, ensuring the impact is effective whether the user is on a desktop, tablet or smartphone.

When it comes to digital advertising, there’s a delicate balance between impact and experience, and to ensure maximum impact, we must create ads that are extremely creative. Creative digital advertisements have hit their stride in recent years and digital marketing has given us limitless opportunities. Now we must make the most of them.

Featured image source: iStock/zaniman

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