News & Views

Opinion / Memorable Media

by Contagious Team
Smart selection of media can contribute up to 50% of a campaign’s impact. James Galpin, head of media & digital solutions at Millward Brown Latin America explains...

Advertisers like to think that it takes great creative to be remembered. The truth is that while great creative plays an important part in getting consumers to acknowledge your message, great media is also vital.

At a time when brands are getting conflicting advice from their multitude of specialist advisers and are constantly overwhelmed by their need to understand the new, new thing, too many marketers are failing to remember the golden rules of using media creatively.

Millward Brown research shows that smart selection of media can ensure brand messages are relevant, different and emotionally impactful. In 2015, media success is about more than just delivering reach and frequency.

The fact is that smart media usage can account for around half of a campaign’s performance. It cannot turn bad creative into good, but it can boost the power of the message significantly. And the better the creative, the more impactful the media contribution can be.

Effective media selection is about more than just working out how much to spend, it’s also about determining the right range of creative placements to allocate that spend to.

Here are 10 classic strategies that can ensure media is memorable:

1. Be in places that contrast with your brand promise. Personal service led shoe retailer Zappos has successfully promoted its message at US airports, highlighting the fact not just that people have to take their shoes off at security but also that the service at airports is unlikely to be at the same level.

2. Be different to the way that people expect you to be. Itau Bank has placed bikes all over Sâo Paulo, Brasil, to invite people to enjoy the city and the brand in a different way, whilst making a positive contribution to reducing the notorious traffic problems. Similarly, globally many brands perceived to appeal to older consumers have successfully shifted their demographic by investing heavily in digital and social media campaigns.

3. Be big and bold. Brands that want to demonstrate stature can do a lot worse than invest in TV. Consumers in inland China, for example, are highly likely to think that brands that advertise on TV are bigger than those that don’t.

4. Be relevant. Placements in relevant content are a tried and trusted means to gain attention. That means sports brands in sports content, for example, a sector where smart brands have focused on content about “doing” not just watching, to drive usage of their products.

5. Select content genres that are close to your desired brand perception. If you want to be serious select dramas and news but if your message is about fun, comedy slots would be more sensible. Beer brand Corona’s 1,000 fan campaign in Mexico around the 2014 World Cup successfully reinforced the brand’s position at the heart of Mexican national identity and celebrations. The promotion recruited 1,000 Mexican fans to go to Brasil to support the national team, backed up with sponsorship of key World Cup coverage on TV.

6. Have passion and be part of events that generate passion. In an age when engagement is critical, being part of something or creating something that people feel strongly about is a powerful media selection. Red Bull’s strategy around extreme sports and Coke’s consistent involvement in the Olympics are both good examples of this.

7. Reflect consumer behaviours that aren’t widely acknowledged. La Campagnola Tuna in Argentina discovered that lot of people add tuna to the salad they buy for lunch. This insight led the brand to change not only the creative messaging but also the media strategy, adding workers to their traditional target of housewives. The bottom line is that if your message appears at time when consumers are the correct mindset it will be more powerful.

8. Reflect the mind-state of your target: reaching consumers when they are thinking about your category is the perfect moment to reinforce or change their brand choices. A wonderful example is this Cannes Lion-winning activity from Nivea Sun in Brasil, combining magazines and mobile phones to help parents protect their kids in a uniquely powerful and relevant moment.

9. Trigger actions close to physical/retail outlets. It’s no surprise that OOH is used by retailers and fast food outlets to drive consumers into their stores. The ability of the channel to trigger actions or remind consumers that their needs can be met nearby is well understood. Sico Condoms in Mexico, for example, has identified motels as a classic demand location and now places communications and prioritises distribution in and around them. POS is also a proven brand building medium for FMCG brands, as in store is one of the few moments that consumers truly engage with many such low involvement categories.

10. Trigger actions based on digital proximity. Behavioural targeting techniques are the digital cousin of OOH placements outside a fast food outlet. They allow brands to recreate consumer proximity (or interest) in a particular subject/product and service and direct call to action messages in a smart way to relevant consumers. The simplest example for those that travel around Latin America are the Bluetooth messages from mobile operators such as Telcel or Claro that ping a promotion when you arrive in a new destination.

Brand marketers are right to devote considerable effort to getting their creative right. But however powerful their creative message is, if they deliver it in the wrong moment or context it will not have the maximum impact.

They must also devote considerable effort to identifying the right moments to talk to their consumers. The most successful media strategies are about far more than just standard flighting plans at the lowest cost per GRP. Fewer, better placements will often deliver more impact than more, cheaper but less suitable ones.

Brand marketers must be as creative in their media selection as in their message.