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Karen Stacey 

Love is in the air - and it's grabbing our attention

Love is in the air - and it's grabbing our attention

Emotional advertising delivers more profit and drives longer-term engagement, writes Karen Stacey, CEO, Digital Cinema Media. Are you ready to spread the love?

The way consumers feel is changing. Only six per cent of the population care about brands, while our attention span is down to just eight seconds.

We've never had more channels to reach people but, the irony is, it's getting more and more difficult to engage them. A lack of ad receptivity has seen advertisers shout louder in an attempt to increase their share of voice, focusing too much on promotion rather than persuasion. However, too much frequency in a short period is turning people off and limiting cut through.

Not only that, consumers are savvier than ever in limiting their exposure to ads - ad blocking software, fast forward buttons and channel flicking are rife. Millward Brown's Sue Elms recently told me that by 2017, 50% of Europeans are expected to be ad blocking. This shows how much of a growing concern this is.

So just how can we get people's attention? In today's digital world, are vines, tweets, three second views or emoticons enough?

This month, ISBA's 2016 Insights programme launched and I was lucky enough to speak to a room full of top marketers from brands including Aviva, Bel UK, Direct Line, John Lewis, M&S, P&G, Tesco and Royal Mail. By my side were Sue Elms and L'Oréal's Hugh Pile. Together we took our audience through a masterclass on how to create brand love and why it's so important to create connections with consumers on a deeper level.

Attention is becoming the holy grail of modern marketing. According to TouchPoints 6, 87% of us now consume media simultaneously and brands are experiencing attention deficit.

There is a focus on the need to capture people's attention, for brands to differentiate themselves and create an emotional connection with consumers. Hugh explained that a brand can still deliver rational and functional messages, but they need to be distinctive and relevant while understanding what consumers find valuable to gain receptivity and synergy to drive the bottom line.

Understanding how each media channel captures attention, emotion and a point of difference for brands is more important than ever, and we wanted to better understand the role cinema plays in the media mix to prove its worth to advertisers.

We therefore recently committed to a £1m investment in CrossMedia research over the next three years, in partnership with global research agency Millward Brown. The findings from DCM and Millward Brown's first CrossMedia analysis, Building Box Office Brands, are powerful and thought-provoking, revealing the unique value of cinema media in today's cross media landscape.

We know our medium is unique - it provides the only uncluttered media environment where people have actually paid to pay attention - but cinema also has a range of other attributes that can result in a positive sales effect.

We're convinced that focusing on brand building drives sales for the long-term."

The study revealed that cinema delivers strong contributions towards brand awareness, love, difference, consideration and recommendation - helping brands become stronger and more powerful as a result. No media channel is more efficient at building brand love than cinema. Love makes brands swell rapidly in value: consumers are far more likely to pay a premium for what they love and, in terms of return on investment, cinema delivers a 5.4% increase for every £1m invested. No other channel helps brands love them like cinema.

In terms of generating brand difference, cinema delivers the biggest contribution per person reached, with almost five times more efficiency than online video. Brands that are seen as 'different' increase brand value, attract new customers, and command a price premium and stronger loyalty.

Campaigns with more touch-points tend to have greater impact and drive long-term value as each media has its own role to play and often amplifies the performance of other media. While all channels can contribute, it is AV channels and in particular cinema and TV that are the clear leaders in helping grow brand love.

We're convinced that focusing on brand building drives sales for the long-term. Today's brands need to stand out from the crowd, differentiate themselves and create an emotional connection like never before. People will never forget how you made them feel. As American author Maya Angelou once said, it's how you make people feel that is important, not what you said or did. If people are already warmed to a brand, it becomes easier.

One of the most successful launches this year was a brand that was 38 years old - that broke all previous records and that catapulted Disney to become one of the world's most powerful companies. That brand is Star Wars. A brand that it was revealed this month brought in more than $2bn at the box office alone.

Emotional advertising delivers twice the profit and cements brand love for a longer period. So let's start to spread the love.

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