In today’s rapidly evolving media landscape, the transformation of brand strategies and objectives has become a necessity for advertisers worldwide. As viewer habits change and the economic situation remains unpredictable, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and media sellers must adapt to a new reality where consumer behaviour is shifting in unprecedented ways. Inspired by the panels on the RTL Beach during this year’s Cannes Lions Festival, we will delve into the multifaceted challenges and opportunities that have emerged, influencing the world of TV advertising and brand strategies.
Changing viewer habits and consumer behaviour
The current economic situation has had a profound impact on consumer behaviour. With financial uncertainty on the rise, people are becoming increasingly discerning in their choices. They now seek value, authenticity and relevance in the content they consume. This shift underscores the critical importance of understanding how viewers interact with brands, how they make purchasing decisions and how they engage with content.
Recent data reveals that consumers are yearning for more meaningful connections with the brands they support. They want to feel like they are part of a community, sharing values and aspirations with the brands they choose. This trend carries substantial implications for advertisers as they strive to craft campaigns that resonate on a deeper, emotional level.
In today’s cluttered media landscape, capturing and retaining the viewer’s attention are paramount. It’s not merely about how many eyes see your ad; it’s about how many minds are truly engaged by it. Successful campaigns prioritise audience engagement, offering captivating and meaningful content that resonates with viewers. Advertisers who understand this shift are better positioned to succeed in a world where capturing attention is more important than merely being seen.
Sustainability has become an essential element of brand strategies. Consumers increasingly demand that brands take an active role in addressing environmental and social issues. To resonate with today’s conscious consumers, brands must integrate sustainability from the outset, not as an afterthought. Brands that authentically embrace sustainability in their campaigns can not only improve their public image but also attract a loyal customer base that shares their values.
I want to give a shout out to humour. It is on the decline in ads, understandably due to what is happening, but it is an amazing tool to build emotional connections.” – Jane Ostler, EVP, Global Thought Leadership, Kantar
Creative vs targeting and performance
The age-old debate of creativity vs targeting continues to shape the advertising landscape. Is precision targeting enough to compensate for mediocre creative content, or does powerful and emotionally resonant creative work have an irreplaceable impact, regardless of where it is displayed?
Research suggests that a balance between both elements is key. While precise targeting can improve campaign efficiency, impactful creative content is necessary to forge a meaningful connection with the audience. Achieving this balance is the key to advertising success in today’s dynamic media environment.
“Creativity is not limited to ad content, it can be applied to all of the business: how you design, buy media, the set-up of your media mix, how you validate results, etc. In every single one of these areas, you can apply creativity for a better result.” Kęstutis Tyla, Senior Director of Reach Media, Vinted.
Global vs local advertising strategies
There’s no such thing as a purely local brand anymore. Everything is global. What defines a global brand has evolved significantly over the past 50 years. Today, it’s about what a brand stands for, its core values, and its visual identity. Achieving global scale while maintaining local relevance is the new imperative. If you are not relevant, it doesn’t matter if you are operating on a global or local scale.
The tension between global and local strategies in advertising is an enduring challenge, particularly in the diverse European landscape. Global brands must find ways to implement their overarching strategies while respecting local nuances and cultural sensitivities. Successful global brands strike a balance by providing frameworks that allow for local adaptations. This approach enables them to maintain a consistent global brand image while catering to the unique preferences and behaviours of local audiences.
“Every team should be global in their mindset, even if they are local in their execution.” Mark Kirkham, SVP & CMO, PepsiCo International Beverages.
I want to give a shout out to humour. It is on the decline in ads, understandably due to what is happening, but it is an amazing tool to build emotional connections
The dominance of global tech giants, often referred to as GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft), presents unique challenges for European broadcasters and measurement providers. These giants operate as walled gardens, controlling vast amounts of user data and advertising inventory. European players in the media and advertising space must find innovative ways to navigate this landscape. By collaborating, sharing insights, and advocating for more open and transparent practices, they can better compete with the tech giants while ensuring fair measurement standards.
Cross-media measurement and its impact
Cross-media measurement is a game-changer for TV advertising. It allows advertisers to understand the holistic reach of their campaigns, whether on traditional television, streaming platforms, or social media. This evolving metric has profound implications for brand strategies and budget allocation. Advertisers can now make data-informed decisions about where to allocate their resources, ensuring that their message reaches the right audience through the most effective channels. The challenge here lies in harmonising metrics across different media platforms for accurate cross-media comparisons.
“We measure what we treasure!” Aline Santos, Chief Brand Officer and Chief Equity Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Unilever.
The importance of data in shaping brand strategies cannot be overstated. With access to unprecedented amounts of information, CMOs have a unique opportunity to tailor their campaigns to specific audiences. However, a critical decision must be made regarding data: should companies invest in their proprietary data or purchase viewing data? The answer depends, as is so often the case, on the strategy chosen. Proprietary data offers valuable insights into a brand’s specific customer base, while viewing data provides a broader view of the market. The challenge is in integrating these data sources effectively to inform precise targeting and engaging creative content.
Data intelligence and Artificial Intelligence must be balanced with human insights and cultural intelligence. We cannot rely so much on technology that we lose the human spirit.” – Wendi Dunlap, EVP of Business Intelligence and Audience Science, Mediahub.
Emerging advertising formats and technologies
As technology continues to advance, new advertising formats and technologies are transforming the way advertisers engage with their audiences. CMOs are exploring these innovations to create more immersive and interactive experiences for viewers. From virtual reality and augmented reality ads to interactive and shoppable content, the possibilities are expanding. Additionally, programmatic advertising, artificial intelligence and data analytics are driving the evolution of targeted and personalised advertising.
In the ever-evolving world of TV advertising, adaptability is the key to success. CMOs and media sellers must stay attuned to changing viewer habits, embrace data-driven decision-making, navigate the challenges of cross-media measurement, prioritise attention over visibility and strike a balance between global and local strategies. Furthermore, a commitment to sustainability, a balance between creativity and targeting, and a keen eye on emerging advertising formats and technologies are vital components of a successful brand strategy in this transformative era. As the media landscape continues to evolve, those who embrace change and innovation will be best positioned to thrive.
The future of TV advertising is dynamic and promising. It’s a realm where the adaptability of brand strategies and objectives is not just a response to change but a driving force in shaping the future. Stay tuned for the next wave of transformation, where brands must continue to evolve and innovate to stay relevant and resonant with their audiences.