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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