UK Snapshot: Digital playing catch up to old school advertising

Brands have spent decades mastering the art of traditional advertising and are struggling to realise the potential from digital ads, according to the UK findings of our Click Here: State of Online Advertising research launched today.

70% of consumers said that they thought TV ads are still more important than online ads, with 62% saying these were ‘annoying’. Only a small group (8%) said that online ads were persuasive. This is perhaps not hugely surprising as online is still relatively in its infancy as an advertising channel, and the digital landscape and opportunities for brands are constantly changing.

So what can brands do to make online ads more appealing to consumers?

Firstly brands need to remember that content is still king when it comes to advertising, no matter what channel the ad appears on.

More than two thirds (68%) of UK consumers said ads should tell a unique story, rather than just trying to sell them products. Most memorable ads are TV campaigns from John Lewis and Guinness, both of which contained an element of storytelling.

Humour is also important, 92% said funny ads are more effective than ‘sexy’ ones. We took to the streets of London to talk about the best sexy and funny adverts… check out our video on YouTube and let us know your favourites too!

To like or not to like?

Although social hasn’t taken-off as an advertising channel (yet!), our research reveals that there are other opportunities for brands to engage with consumers on these channels.

Of the two thirds of Brits that use social media in the UK, nearly half (44%) have liked something on behalf of a brand, and 49% regularly ‘like’ brands that they buy from on social channels. The top two reasons people ‘like’ brands or products is to share their tastes and interests with the world and recommend products to friends.

But brands beware! Almost half (49%) of people want to see a ‘dislike’ button…

Consumers and the personal touch  

When asked how valuable consumers find it when a website makes personalised product and service recommendations, nearly half were ambivalent (43%), and just a quarter (24%) found it valuable.  Of those that consumers felt do this well, predominantly online brands like Amazon, eBay and TripAdvisor came out top.

So…how can brands make online ads a success? 

The findings are an important wake-up call for brands – they have a lot more work to do to with online ad campaigns if they are to capture consumers’ attention. Whilst physical advertising has traditionally been about broadcasting messages, online gives them the opportunity to engage with customers directly – those that understand this will ultimately win in the digital world…

Read the full Click Here: State of Online Advertising UK press release here.

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