Experiential Advertising In Today's Digital World

Advertising As An Experience

DD Experience AdvertisingAdvertisers have seen major shifts from the days of Mad Men.  It used to be pretty easy to get your ads in front of your customers.  They didn’t have much of a choice, but see your ad.  However, as time has gone by, viewers are ignoring ads, as well as choosing if they want to even receive ads.  Ad blocking
technology is the latest of these trends.

So, what can advertisers learn from these trends?  

As much as our industry wants to say that we need serve up ads in different ways and techniques, perhaps there is something inherently changing in the way customers experience ads.  Take a look at what is happening with social media and the live stream video revolution where people want authentic, real-time interactions.  All this boils down to interaction.  Shenen Reed makes this intriguing observation about advertising:

“We were killing this industry when we decided pop-ups are a good idea. We made [ads] bigger and more viewable. We created an interruption experience as opposed to an engagement experience. We need to resell advertising back to the customer to make them feel like we’re doing them a service.”

Perhaps the answer is not to manipulate our advertising and play games with our customers.  Perhaps instead, the answer is to engage and interact with our customers.  Let’s not interrupt their experience with ads, but instead make it feel natural, fluid, and relevant.

Advertisers Must Be Able To Create Experiences In Order To Be Successful.  

Be Truly Interactive – Include social media and fun content into what you are creating.  The advertising piece can be a subtle backdrop.  This is where advertising works alongside any good content marketing strategy.  Interactive videos, live streams, social advertising, and more can be used to give your brand a more interactive face to the public.

Build Trust – We just mentioned that content marketing is key, but it is also vital in order to build trust.  Millennial and younger generations are all about building trust with the brands they support.  If you’re looking to advertise and have a one-off sale, you won’t succeed with these younger generations who are growing in purchasing power.  Build longterm loyalty and your ads won’t be seen as intrusive.

Go Native – While traditional ads have a place, perhaps a more holistic approach is necessary.  Instead of creating the artwork and ad copy and THEN deciding where it will be placed, you might consider deciding your channels and advertising locations first.  Then, when you know the space you’re placing an ad, you can design the artwork and copy to match the style of that location.  Go native with your advertising so that it blends in with the surroundings.  Customers will naturally pay attention to the ads because they care about the content of that place and your ad looks like all of the other content.  Again, think about if you’re interrupting the experience on a particular website.  (Check out our latest article on native advertising.)

Provide Value – Create ads that your customers will not want to ignore or block because you are providing them so much value.  Whether that is value in the form of useful information, tips, smiles, or “all the feels” as they say.  If people are able to connect and find value and worth to your ads, they’ll remember them and remember you.

Advertisers have a legitimate battle in today’s digital space to attract attention, especially when you consider all of the ad blockers and tools that people use to avoid advertisements.  The reality is that your ads can be effective and shine, but you absolutely HAVE to be smart about your strategy