| January 16, 2013
My dad always ascribes any business success I may have enjoyed to my “sleazy charm.” Thanks, Dad. I would like to think there might be other factors at play, but the ability to charm can play an important role in business relationships. But until now I had not really thought of advertising as “charming” people.
Les Binet refers to the need for brands to be charming in the course of this presentation given at Thinkbox’s event, “Advertising Effectiveness: the long and the short of it.”
The video is well worth viewing in its entirety, since it reviews an important extension to the work that Binet and Peter Fields have conducted using IPA Award entry case studies. Many of their conclusions are entirely consistent with the viewpoint put forward by Millward Brown over the years.
Binet and Fields’ past work showed that Excess Share of Voice (ESOV), that is a brand’s current yearly share of voice minus its current share of market, is related to future market share growth. This is a finding that we have replicated at Millward Brown using client share data and also with attitudinal data from BrandZ. Intriguingly, the degree to which market share improves in response to ESOV seems pretty consistent between the different studies, although there are differences by product category and brand size. As my colleague, Jorge Alagón suggests, this implies the existence of an empirical generalization: over investing in media pays off next year at a predictable rate depending on category and brand size.
The new analysis is particularly exciting because it now extends the previous analysis to look at longer-term effects. Previously, Binet and Fields had found that advertising designed to evoke an emotional response was most likely to produce strong profit effects. In this analysis, which looks over a longer time frame, they find that advertising designed to evoke only an emotional response is twice as likely to produce large profit effects over a three year time frame as any other form of advertising. While the definition of the word “emotional” remains open to interpretation, our research would support the finding that emotionally engaging advertising does create stronger long-term sales effects.
Binet credits the longer and broader effects of emotional advertising to its priming or halo effect, and specifically refers to research conducted on an ad for Hovis (a UK bread brand) that found people willing to endorse the brand on several different and potentially contradictory statements, e.g. “modern” and “traditional.” He goes on to conclude:
You charm people and they are much more willing to believe good things about the brand.
This is entirely consistent with the Admap article by Millward Brown’s Dom Twose and Polly Wyn Jones. However, I don’t remember anyone talking about an ad’s ability to charm people before but the connotations seem entirely appropriate. Truly memorable advertising is attractive, appealing and magnetic. It lures us to like the advertised brand so that when we think about the brand at a later date we are primed to feel positive about it. But creative advertising does more than just charm, as Dom points out in his Point of View from last year. Provided it is focused on the brand, creativity can help engage attention, ensure memorability and evoke curiosity and anticipation.
So do you think “charm” is a good word to use when describing successful advertising? And what ads do you find charming? Please share your thoughts.