The Rules Are There Are No Rules

August 20, 2018
August 20, 2018 Kate Neale

The Rules Are There Are No Rules

The accepted wisdom is no longer acceptable in so many instances like etiquette, language, and protocol, because society is constantly shifting and shape changing. And so is advertising.

The expressive language one generation uses is seen as superfluous by another generation embracing of limited characters, abbreviations and emojis to communicate. Grammar and punctuation appear to be optional extras in many commercial applications these days, but don’t get me started on that!

For those whom immediacy has been a hallmark of their content consumption, the benefits of research may be out-dated and lost before it can be acted upon. But what of conventional wisdom that’s been applied without question in advertising? What do you keep or adapt and what do you replace?

When you’re tasked with reaching and affecting your target market, commercial entertainment can be the ideal vehicle given the scope of creativity that can be explored and the efficiencies of targeting through digital, OTT or CTV.

Storytelling content can deliver so much more impact for the advertiser and done well, can have the audience not just coming back for more, but compounding the effect by liking and sharing. The secret to success is in knowing your target audience and how to make strategically created content and will require a well rounded knowledge of marketing, production, the product and the target audience.

Google’s Unskippable Labs fake Dr Fork Pizza campaign, was an initiative designed to test ad effectiveness, which reached over 20 million impressions to rather cleverly test some of the accepted wisdoms of advertising, such as chewing and looking at the camera is a ‘no-no’.

(Although personally, I do tend to agree with this thinking after suffering through ‘Trip To Italy’ which I expected to be a movie, but sadly discovered at my expense was an overtly and insufferable branded entertainment indulgence for the actors who frequently spoke while chewing their food, but I digress.)

The principle findings of the research, paired with research outcomes based sensory cues and the presence of humans in food advertising provide guidance for anyone constructing storylines and campaigns to bring food into favour.

Imagine the aroma right now of your favourite coffee gently brewing before the morning mayhem, heralding each precious droplet with a playful plonk as it lands in your cup. The familiar notes of your longed for doppio, ristretto or mocha arouse a little buzz of anxious anticipation and stir your desire for that sweet pastry or fluffy muffin that will complete your morning treat and launch your day.

The previous paragraph I wrote is designed to embrace the findings of the research which suggest the following six rules:

  1. Immersive, multi-sensory experiences drive better recall than single sensory experiences.
    Implications: Food ads should stimulate the full range of senses and use the full potential of audio, visual and text cues to do so.
  2. Separating visual input from text (voice and supers) increases both recall and favorability.
    Implications: Brands making short-form ads should consider separating visual clips from audio/supers for maximum impact.
  3. Explicit instruction to imagine increases both recall and favorability.
    Implications: Brands should use instruction to drive impact until they can prove more effective options.
  4. We want edge-to-edge food in our food ads.
    Implications: Food ads should include super close shots of the food to drive favorability and recall.
  5. Bite and smile is not the only way to show a pleasurable food experience.
    Implications: A range of human/food approaches are equally valid. Brands should feel there is freedom in how they present their food being enjoyed, not constrained by bite-and-smile.
  6. Younger audiences responded better to first-person perspectives (POV) than older audiences did.

“It is increasingly rare that academic research actually makes its way into practice, or when it does, it’s a little too late to make an impact,” Dr. Elder said via email. “Similarly, many times academics focus more on the theoretical rather than practical consequences of their research, limiting its impact.

Food, film or finance, Wanted Consulting can bring all the elements together to give your commercial content way more bang for your buck.


Original inspiration:

Thanks Rustic-Vegan & Unsplash for the pic

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