Top seven tips for digital advertising

by Nigel Hollis | October 09, 2017

My colleagues have created a great list of the top seven tips for digital advertising which will be discussed in this upcoming webinar. The list is important because it addresses the single biggest factor in digital ad effectiveness: the creative. You can have the best targeting in the world, the best ad format and placement, but if people do not respond well to your advertising you might as well have not spent the money.

The first item on the list is “Make people feel something”. The commentary states,

“Ads that evoke emotion are more likely to create positive brand associations that help drive preference,

and choice at the time of purchase. And this is more pronounced for digital.”

Let’s explore this statement a bit further.

 Let’s see what Kantar Millward Brown’s Brand Lift Insights can tell us. Brand Lift Insights compares a sample of people exposed to an ad or campaign to a statistically matched sample who did not see it. Since the samples are matched at a very granular level we can assume that the difference in response between the two is only due to the ad exposure.


In the survey we ask, “Overall, how much do you like this ad?” and when we cross tab the responses to that question against brand metrics for 2,125 campaigns we find big differences in response.  The increase in ad awareness is almost double for campaigns in the top 20 percent by likeability to what it is among the bottom 20 percent. Brand awareness, favorability and purchase intent are all higher with the difference statistically significant at the 99 percent level.

Now it might be that you don’t care about building positive associations to drive future brand choice. What you want to do is drive buying decisions now. The same comparison finds that if the campaign is perceived to deliver points relevant to the individual, that will improve the influence on purchase intent but not by a lot. A separate analysis comparing programmatic campaigns to the total database finds that the only measure that moves more strongly in response to programmatic is purchase intent, which is good for ‘call to action’ ads and not so much if you also want to build your brand.

Ultimately, if you want to drive sales now and into the future the best way to do so is to ensure that your brand is both likeable and relevant to the target audience and one easy way to do that is to test your ads ahead of time. Rather than trusting to luck (the probability of success and failure are not stacked in your favor) why not start a program of digital testing to improve your odds of success? 

So why do more brands not pre-test their digital advertising? Please share your thoughts.

Leave a comment