Getting Emotional in Digital Advertising


Why you should focus on the future, but stay creative.

Over the past few years, Programmatic Advertising – that’s digital ads backed by a sprinkling of AI – has shaken up the way brands target and deliver messages to their audiences in real time. What’s noticeable is that online consumers, driven by exponential increases in smartphone and tablet use, are leaving an ever bigger digital footprint – one to be mined and exploited. So if data is the key driver, can good old fashioned creative still add tangible value in a more programmatic world? Absolutely. We believe that the secret to adding creative zest is to tell tales – and get emotional.

Smarter lives, smarter advertising
In the space of just a decade, the smartphone has become an integral part of our lives. In fact, according to Deloitte, four out of five UK adults now owns one… and our individual smartphone usage is on the up, too. With each app and website visit, consumers are leaving an ever-expanding data footprint, ushering in a new wave of data mining and programmatic ads.

Today’s programmatic digital ad buys are made automatically and in real time. Using user journey data, clever AI decides which ad space to buy and how much to pay, with benefits from cost effectiveness to better targeting. And needless to say, it’s reassured digital marketers that their campaigns are reaching more of the right people – in more of the right places. So far, so good.

The data elephant in the room
Fast forward to next year. In May 2018, the Information Commissioner will put the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into force, which requires “lawful, fair and transparent” use of personal data. It also makes provision for greater transparency when it comes to the use of consumer data. This is an issue for programmatic advertising. Watch this space.

Clever creative still rules, ok?
So what’s missing, amongst all the AI genius and media buying cleverness? Genuine creativity. Despite its many benefits, programmatically-bought digital campaigns will fall flat if their message is dull or their creative isn’t smart or eye-catching enough. Nothing here has changed. Your mission as a marketer (and ours as a creative agency) is still the same: to enhance engagement with your audiences.

How to cut through creatively? Find an emotional connection. In our recent blog post we argued that storytelling is a crucial conduit that enables brands to connect… and a significant contributor to the customers’ decision-making process is emotional. So think emotional, talk emotional, design emotional.

We know the benefits that proactive AI can bring. After all, anything that helps us gain a deeper understanding of markets and audiences is a good thing. But data isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of advertising. And used in isolation, it’s a blunt tool. Better to find a balance, working with creative messaging, design and brand building, that lets data do its job of finding the right audience at the right time – and that’s where we come in.

Read more insight pieces by Living Group via their website