Colmar Brunton's five principles for creating impactful ads

  • Advertising
  • August 30, 2018
  • Colmar Brunton
Colmar Brunton's five principles for creating impactful ads

This month there is no Colmar Brunton ad impact award winner, and the reason is because none of the July TVC’s scored well against the company's key metrics of branding, engagement, enjoyment, talkability, persuasion and differentiation.

Ad makers and marketers know that emotional response plays an important role in consumer decision making, but many TVCs are still pushing explicit messages at the expense of emotional relevance, connection and engagement.

Seeing that there is no winner, the team at Colmar Brunton decided to share its latest Colmar and Kantar Millward Brown research on the five principles to create ads that will make a lasting impression.

It recently conducted research to explore a typical week's advertising across TV, pre-roll and social media and found that almost two-thirds of the ads reviewed delivered an explicit product message. This seems at odds with the evidence from cognitive science that people rarely think through decisions, and that snap judgements and instinctive reactions are a key part of the brand decision making process.

Emotional relevance and creative engagement in advertising are critical to success. Kantar Millward Brown's database shows that, when compared with ads that focus on a key message, ads with creative impact, driven by branded, emotional engagement, have a much clearer relationship with in-market sales effects. Failing to get the key message across in ads is associated with a lower likelihood of a sales response – but this is dwarfed in comparison to the problems caused by failing to engage viewers.

Five principles to create great ads:

1. Make a meaningful impression – implicit vs explicit, it’s time to stop selling product features and start building brands. 
2. Work with the brain and not against it – Emotions are a great way of making an impression. 
3. Good storytelling leaves an impression – Ads that use stories are more noticeable and more memorable. 
4. No brand means no impression – an engaging video ad without branding won’t add value to the brand. 
5. Get the channel right – receptivity to online advertising is still low, identify the places where your target audience is most receptive to advertising.


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