No, this will NOT be another post about Google+ – not there’s anything wrong with that, and no it’s not about the national debt and the possible impact it will have on the American economy. To me the single biggest worry for advertisers and marketers is do consumers remember your product and brand after seeing an ad (TV spot) or do they just remember the ad itself?
Ok, perhaps this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek as obviously advertisers and marketers worry about the bottom line at all times and that is their single biggest worry, always. But think about it. You spend many hours and lots of money on creating and developing a campaign to promote your brand and product. You then launch said campaign across multiple mediums with the hope and intent that consumers, AKA the ones with the money to spend on your product and brand, will be compelled to buy.
But… But what if after seeing your ad, in this case a TV commercial, those same consumers don’t remember your brand or product but rather only remember the commercial itself? What if there is no connection in their minds and their wallets from the commercial to your product or brand?
Way back in 2009 – I say ‘way back in 2009’ because there’s been quite a few changes in the advertising and marketing arenas in just 2 years i.e. the explosion of social media, mobile marketing, smartphones, tablets and on and on – I posed a very simple query to some folks. [[Note: This was by no means a scientific survey but rather an open-ended question thrown out to whomever wanted to reply.]]
What makes a TV commercial memorable? And follow up question, is it the brand and product you remember or just the commercial itself?
First, some overall findings:
- Humor was definitely the most-oft used word to describe what makes a commercial memorable.
- Other words that came up a lot were “tagline” and “jingle”
- Many mentioned the use of an iconic-type character as being an integral part of making a commercial stand out from the pack.
- Another person took it a step further and delved deeper into the heart of the advertising matter (BTW, this is a great, GREAT point): “Advertising, especially TV commercials can get customers in the door only one time. After that, it’s up the seller to build trust and loyalty.”
And some detailed replies:
- “Heart and or Humor. One that tickles the funny bone, makes you laugh out loud and call a person in the other room … “Hey, you’ve gotta come see this commercial …” On the flip side, one that pulls at the heart strings, or even at times rips the heart right out of your chest with power, energy or fear, causing you to pause and think. Makes you say “wow!” They only come along so often. Product is not always the most memorable part – think of how many times you’ve said, “I saw this great commercial, don’t remember exactly what it was for, but …” I seem to remember product on the powerful serious spots – less so on the funny commercials where sometimes the punchline over powers product.”
- Generally for me, a TV spot has to score high in 2 areas to be memorable: sheer entertainment value and disruption/thought-provoking ability. That second category covers those few ingenious spots every year that go completely against the settled order of things to really achieve something different. As for whether I remember the product or just the commercial itself, that varies. But I bet you a dollar to a donut that those of us in the biz latch on to the sponsor probably five times more often than the average viewing Joe or Jane — so if we’re inconsistent in our recall, imagine how they do on that score.”
- I often remember ads that are funny, but not the product. I think to be memorable isn’t really the point, it is to be remembered favorably with the target audience. To do that I think of two things – a message and delivery that is right for the product and enough repetition to stick the point without making you scream.”
- “Humor often makes the ad memorable. But a strong BENEFIT makes the product memorable.”
- “If you don’t remember the product or service, the ad is a failure. The ad should address a need, demonstrate how the product or service meets the need, and do it in a compelling, memorable way, with a device known as a hook.”
- “Stupid commercials are the most memorable, followed by funny ones. I tend to remember a commercial first then the product.”
“I always remember the commercial itself and not the product.”
- “I remember commercials that have interesting animation, good music, or beautiful effects OR those that are really irritating. I often remember the product only more or less, eg: “it’s about butter substitutes”, but I don’t recall the product if asked. However, I often find that I am ‘attracted’ to the product, in that I notice it among its fellows on the shelf. I don’t always buy it. Buying is more closely related to whether I would buy it anyway, and how much it costs.”
Ok your turn…
If you’re a marketer or advertiser and had to choose, it’s more important that the consumer remembers your brand and product more so than the actual TV commercial itself, right? I mean it would be great if a consumer remembers both and instantly makes that connection between commercial and brand but at the end of the day it’s all about sales.
If a consumer sees a commercial and then remembers your brand and product when standing in front of that shelf in the store or or in front of that screen, who cares if they remember the actual commercial or if it was funny or not, as long as they buy your product, right?
What about those of us on the agency side? Don’t we want it all? Don’t we want to flex our creative muscles and create commercials that consumers remember and win us some fancy awards? All the while increasing the bottom line of our clients, too… which is ALWAYS the ultimate goal.