Great ad alone won’t sell your brand — is your ad engagement-focused?

There was a time when all you needed to keep your brand in the game was to push conversion-driven ads that sell your products and/or services. Whether you achieve this via door-to-door sale, radio jingles, TV ad slot, or good old fliers on street corners and storefronts is immaterial.

Nowadays, with consumer options expanded by increased access to global markets, research shows that customers are increasingly circumspect when making a decision on what to buy and who to buy it from. This means that your marketing has to go beyond conversion-driven campaigns to driving engagement for your brand through your advert.

A number of Nigerian brands have done this to great success, but we look at Trophy Lager Beer’s ‘Na who stand by you be your Honourable,’ and Access Bank’s More Than a Tag adverts here.

The Science of engagement

When looking into developing an ad campaign for your brand you have the option of going for virality – which gives you a flash hold on the attention of your customers – or timeless appeal you can milk for a long time.

The aforementioned campaigns chose the latter by focusing on engagement.

We have written here about the Trophy beer ad titled ‘Na who stand by you be your Honourable,’ dissecting what it got right and why it works. There is something more about the ad however that goes beyond the general appeal of its message.

The brand didn’t stop at pushing out an ad so well executed that the target audience was at the forefront of circulating it online without any prodding from the brand, it went further.

Having shone a spotlight on the unemployment problem in the country, the brand then launched an initiative called the ‘Stand By Me’ initiative to tackle some of that problem, if only for the creative industry.

Here is what you achieve by pursuing engagement in this way:

–  Your brand makes an indelible mark tied to your campaign on your target audience. A win for your products and/or services, as well as your brand image.

–  Your brand kills two birds with one stone – marketing itself while giving back through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR.)

For Access Bank, More Than A Tag used a uniquely human experience of misunderstood struggles, putting the focus on individuals who struggle with the perception the world has of them that is counter to who they know themselves to be. Access assured its audience that it sees them even beyond who they are now to the persons they have the potential to be in the future. It is one ad, and it has many heartfelt stories.

This is what that does for your brand:

–  It gives you and your audience the opportunity to talk about the content of your ad in a multiplicity of ways. They can discuss disability, body-shaming, or gender disparity, and behind these discussions will always linger on your brand name because your engagement-focused campaign wove these stories for just this purpose.

–  Your brand retains the prerogative to pick any number of issues in the ad and launch a CSR project on it which itself is a way to build brand image and position as a brand for the people.

The two are the perfect, fully-rounded sort of campaign every brand needs.

Conclusion

Adverts are a cornerstone of success for brands and when done right can be incredibly powerful. Perhaps because of that, their potential is rarely fully exploited by many businesses. Often once an ad gets one thing right, and the brand’s revenue picks up, decision-makers take a deep breath, pat themselves on the back, and move on. Until the next advert need comes along.

Businesses spend huge chunks of money annually on ads, and for the most part, they get some value from their spend.

Yet it can be argued – quite rightly too – that they could get so much more value if they are able to put out ads that aim only for conversion that sells a product or service, but ads that are engagement-focused because that’s where the gold is.

With insight about the changing consumer behaviour since the start of the global pandemic coming in from sources like management consulting firm, Mckinsey and Company, brandsneeds to do more than before.

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