“The advert spoke to me!”. No you’re not crazy, it’s just the future of advertising

Date: 11/05/2017 Written by: Rosie 4 minutes to read.
Digital Marketing

The future is personalisation and this is being taken onboard by our adverts. The marketing scene needs to make changes in order to keep its audiences interested, and that is exactly what's happening with these new personalised adverts, whose simple use of someone's name is enough to grab their attention.

Imagine if the screen could talk to you

Channel 4 are leading in 'personalised advertising'. They have already added audio to their campaigns on their on-demand service and they are looking to do more to engage with their audience. Personalisation is becoming viable due to rapid advances in technology’s ability to analyse data and deliver content and it's quite exciting.

David Amodio, digital and creative leader at Channel 4, said: "The most attention-grabbing word for anyone to hear is, without doubt, one’s own name, so to be able to offer advertisers the chance to speak directly to our millions of viewers is not just unique, but an immensely powerful marketing tool which adds even more value to All 4’s increasingly personalised experience."

Freaked out yet? Don’t be, instead, imagine all the creative ways this new technology can offer your marketing campaign. The most exciting, but scary, advert running soon is for the new film, Alien: Convent. At the end of the advert it says “[Name]…Run!” Imagine that? The TV talking to you and telling you to run!

The adverts of the future (or current as it seems) will be personalised. For a couple of years now Sky have been serving up adverts to us based on what they know about us so personalisation has been underway for a while. If you have a Sky box, adverts in the middle of Coronation Street could be very different to the adverts running in the middle of the same programme next door. My neighbours could get adverts about insurance and I could get adverts about holidays. They look at what they know about us and they serve up adverts that are likely to appeal more to me and my family. In the near future, this will develop further. We can expect to see ads being served up to us that are based on ‘signals’ such as products viewed, current location, income, social connections and content read. The more they know about us, the more personalised it will become. We could also see ads with different colours and images based on our demographics and gender.

This doesn't just apply to TV. The internet is also becoming even more personalised. So if you are thinking about any kind of advertising you need to think about personalisation.


Why do I need this for my marketing campaign?

As I’ve said before in previous blogs, your audiences are lazy and impatient when it comes to media consumption. Take the example of Google and page load times. They aim for 500 milliseconds, to put that in perspective, the blink of an eye is 300-400 milliseconds. 2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. To put it simply, if your page doesn’t load in the time it takes to take a sip of tea, your audience will get impatient and move on.

Content creators and marketers are left with an incredibly tough job of not only capturing the audience’s attention but also keep them engaged for the length of an advert. As I mentioned at the start, we see around 300 adverts a day. I bet you can't recall all of them. So how do I capture attention? Well to start with adverts are getting shorter. YouTube use 10 second adverts before serving up the video. Adverts are also getting creative with their narratives. A gorilla playing the drums…thinking of chocolate yet?

Finally, adverts are gradually getting more personalised as I have discussed. Beforehand it was merely just text on screen, most commonly your name along with a call to action after the advertisement had ended. All of these innovations were done in the hope to retain the audience’s attention, then retaining that attention through to the call to action. What Channel 4 have achieved is to embed personalisation within the advert itself. As your name is the most attention-grabbing word, its simplicity is incredible, and to think that beforehand, the effort involved to grab the same attention was extraordinary in comparison.


“But how can we use this?”

Get creative. Be innovative. With most things in marketing it is about experimentation, what works, what doesn’t, refining what does and altering what doesn’t. If you have a blood donation advert for example use personalised audio that says “Chloe needs your help [NAME]”. Or if you have an anti-smoking advert, why not use personalised audio that says “Do you want to die 10 years younger [NAME]?”

Coca Cola managed to sell a lot more Coca Cola simply by putting our names on their bottles.

Talk to us about how to get more personal.

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