Skip Ad: The Future of Brand Creativity

Skip Ad: The Future of Brand Creativity

You can skip this ad in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Skip Ad. The first chance we get to hit that “skip” button we do. Advertising has always been something we don’t want but rather something that gets in the way of what we want. But, while nine out of ten people who can skip an ad do, new studies show that pre-roll ads are among the most effective forms of digital marketing.

Geico’s Skip Ad Campaign

Not all ads go unnoticed and not all brands fade into the background. 

Why was Geico’s humorous Unskippable and Nike’s inspiring Breaking2 campaign or Ridley Scott’s epic 1984 commercial for Apple so resilient to being “skipped?”

Geico leveraged an emotional response to connect with their audience, Nike’s consistent messaging formed a powerful brand image and Apple expertly understood their consumers’ struggles and their solutions.

Brands that utilize storytelling to connect with their audience do so on a deeper level.

In fact, so deep that we don’t even know we’re being marketed to.    

 

Make them Feel Empowered Not Powerless.

As empowered consumers we only consume what we want, when we want and how we want it.

And that’s only if we want it at all.

A recent study conducted by Millward Brown showed a strong correlation between a consumer’s feeling of control and ad receptivity. Consumers have the power. But brands the ability to empower. It’s when brands stop advertising and start creating strong brand experiences that audiences aren’t forced to listen but compelled to listen. And empowering your audience is as simple as listening, telling and sharing their story.

 

Skip the ad. Tell a story.

Successful storytelling is authentic, relevant and relatable. It’s engaging, inspiring and impactful and invokes a feeling. Whether it be Geico’s satirical humour regarding pre-roll ads, Apple’s desire to be different, or Nike’s perseverance to surpass your goals; these brands don’t just tell a story but share a story.

There is an appetite from customers to engage with brands who put the consumer before the product. We want to engage with the brands who use marketing and advertising to capture our story, experiences and values, and share it with the world. Embracing the skip is the best move a brand can make to creating content and building a brand that holds a purpose in a world of consumer control.  

 

Make Better Content. Build Better Brands.

The fundamentals of successful marketing and why audiences are receptive to a brand’s message has never changed. In a skip-able world audience’s are bombarded with messaging. Understanding your consumer and using key information to create relevant, timely and smart adverts remains crucial for brand receptivity.

Find an Emotional Connection

The Awkward Elevator Scene.

Consumers want advertisers to apply insights to ensure their campaigns meet functional and emotional needs. Marketing teams must be built around a good creative idea rather than specific channels. Market research plays a crucial role in helping brands understand how customers want to be marketed and advertised to. 

Geico’s Unskippable (2016) campaign did just that. They found a perfect emotional connection to leverage. Viewers could no longer skip ads on YouTube and absolutely hated it. Geico took this common feeling of frustration and annoyance and used it as fuel to create satirical video clips so short it couldn’t be skipped. We continued to engage past the 30 second mark because in reality, they were too good to be skipped.

Ensure Messaging is Consistent

Nike spotlights top African-American athletes

Consistency is just as important as creativity. A strong theme running in online and offline communications is key because consumers struggle to relate to brands who are inconsistent in their messaging. 

Jane Frost, chief executive of the Market Research Society says, it’s important to take into account consumers’ emotions and attitudes at particular times and also incorporate that into marketing efforts.

Nike is notorious for this. Since the 1990’s Nike has always courted social controversies as a way to support their youthful, edgy image. From featuring Nic Munoz, a HIV-positive long distance runner (1990), the If You Let me Play Sports (1995) campaign encouraging young girls to play sports (1995) to Equality (2017) which challenged racial equality in sports and beyond. They discovered the young, urban consumer would support a brand who shared the same social values and beliefs as they did.

Understand How You Can Help

The Iconic iPod Silhouettes.

There is a difference between what consumers want from advertisers and what they actually need. We require marketing to provide us with mental shortcuts to help make fast, informed decisions. But we also want to be entertained. 

Marketers who can deliver relevant content which achieves a level of emotional engagement while providing key information to solve their customers’ problems wins.  

Apple is an expert at this. Every Apply campaign ever created enforced the same message: We are innovative. We are different. With the 1984 commercial (1984), iPod Silhouettes (2003), Mac vs. PC (2006)  and Shot on an iPhone (2014), Apple understood the needs of their present and future consumer. Whether it be music on the go, a sleek alternative to PC or a high definition camera- Apple had the solution your problem.  

The result? They gained a following of loyal customers while achieving overall greater brand success.

 

The Skip Challenge

Maybe audiences aren’t the only ones who benefitted from skipping ads. Maybe the smart brands and marketers also want to skip ads, skip producing them and skip forcing them on consumers. Maybe “skip ads” isn’t negative but positive. Because it’s only when you skip the ad you can do something even greater: tell and share amazing stories.

Skip ads and win hearts. Don’t be in the way of what they want. Be what they want.

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