And the most memorable TV ad of the year is…

Er…nobody! No Brand. No business. No organisation. People remember nothing. Niete. Nada.

It would be remiss of us not to address one of the biggest marketing stories this past week in Australia. The startling revelation that in the past year, more people can’t remember an ad, than those that can! The report, in case you missed it, was conducted by global research agency Th?nk and found the Top 7 recalled ads were:

1st: No Brand/No Ad
2nd: Woolworths, Aldi, Coles
5th. Kmart
6th: McDonalds
7th: Qantas

Joint second after Nobody, were the supermarkets, who, let’s be honest, are there by virtue of sheer weight of media rather than emotionally-connective creativity. Ditto Kmart & McDonalds. Which leaves Qantas Airline as the only business in the country which touched hearts and was remembered as a result (albeit the 7th most recalled).

But should we be surprised?
It was only last year that a UK study showed 69% of people reject marketing and the wagons have been circling for years on the declining efficacy of advertising. So what is the explanation for this ineffective banality we are witnessing?

  • Is it conservative Marketers squeezing the life out of creativity?
  • Is it lazy creative agencies not challenging their clients?
  • Is it media agencies getting side-tracked with skimming money and not effectively connecting messages with audiences?
  • Or have people just had enough of advertising and choose to ignore or skip it altogether?

The answer probably lies in some combination of all the above, but fixing advertising efficacy is only part of the solution. It misses the critical reality that people today expect a value exchange.

Where’s the value exchange?
In the connection economy, the only thing that matters is value. Interrupting people with a 30″ ad can never compete with value that an experience can deliver. We’re past the age of advertising. It doesn’t connect the way it used to. People expect to be understood, entertained, educated and rewarded as part of their purchase journey and if marketers miss a beat on this then they will struggle to connect with their tribe.

The place to focus delivery of this value exchange and give your tribe an experience, is not in the limited format of a 30” TV ad. No, the place to provide memorable experiences is through your enticing store activations, your beautifully intuitive website, your simple, fast, payment process, your how-to videos and your above-and-beyond customer service. That is where value is added, advocacy happens and businesses grow.

Focus on being memorable in environments where it matters before worrying about how your TV ad cuts through with strangers.

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