Why is advertising missing the mark?


I have been away on holiday so was a little late in coming across  Michaela Jefferson’s article in Marketing Week (7th July):

Cannes-winning film ads ‘lack potential to drive long-term brand growth’

I was unsurprised, but quite depressed, by her findings.

23 UK and US advertisements won awards in the Cannes Lions film category this year. System 1 (a world leading agency in Advertising Effectiveness) ran these 23 against their data base of 80,000 ads and scored them an average of 2.1 out of 5 for potential to help build long-term growth based on the emotional response of viewers.

Let’s just think about that for a second!

 That is the 23 award winners, the best ads that we can produce, managed an average score of 2.1 out of 5 for creating emotional connection with consumers. 11 of the 23 scored just 1 out of 5!!

Every one of these brand owners will tell you that they are targeting consumer emotions. The problem is that they, and apparently – and even more depressingly – their advertising agencies, don’t seem to know how to target consumers emotionally.

 So how should they go about it?

Successful brands create a mood change in the consumer, (If your brand does not change the consumers mood, then what does it do?)

However, nearly every Brand Owner that I speak with focuses upon the end point of this mood change. They focus upon the consumer’s mood after using their product.

The end point is important, but it is the journey that is the essence of the brand.

To draw a simple analogy:

You can think about your brand as a vehicle to move your consumer from mood A to mood B.

But no car manufacturer sells their car as the best way to get from A to B. They all talk about how great it feels to travel in their car.

The end point is the reason that the consumer is buying into your category, it is the journey that differentiates your brand within the category.

Brand Owners must focus upon the emotional journey if they are going to build a successful brand.

Focusing upon the end point is a great way for you to merge in with the crowd and if you perhaps just want to grow your category.

Understanding the unique emotional journey that your brand delivers and how that differentiates you from the crowd is the way to build your brand.

Chris Lukehurst is a Consumer Psychologist and a Director at The Marketing Clinic.

Understanding the connections between the consumer experience and their emotional responses.