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The three R’s to insist on when briefing your next campaign

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Don't just listen to us. Listen to the 6,000 Kiwis who told us about their favourite ads on TV.

The three R's to insist on:

  1. Be remarkable: Ask for an ad that's like no one's seen before - the element of surprise will get people talking.
  2. Be rewarding: Reward your audience with entertainment - they'll make your audience more receptive to your sales pitch.
  3. Be remembered: An ad is only valuable if it’s remembered as yours: how can you weave your unmistakable brand assets into the story?

Over the last 12 months, TRA, in partnership with ThinkTV, has asked more than six thousand kiwis ‘what’s your favourite ad on TV right now’. We also asked why the ad was their favourite, and what they thought the ad was telling them about the thing being advertised.

This large database of unprompted, open-ended responses has been coded and thoroughly analysed to determine the common elements of New Zealand’s favourite ads. Combined with global best practice thinking on creative effectiveness, we have distilled the findings down to three golden rules for yielding the best business results from TV-led campaigns.

By insisting on these three R’s when you brief your next TV campaign, you’ll give yourself the strongest potential of creating a highly effective enduring icon.

1. Be remarkable

Don’t ask for an ad ‘like that one’ …ask for an ad like no one’s seen before. The element of surprise is what gets people talking.

Marketers are humans too, and as humans, we feel safe when we fit in. It feels uncomfortable to be the odd-one-out with an ad unlike anything your competitors are doing.

However, if you want to create a favourite ad, you need to get comfortable with standing out.

Humans are hard-wired to look for patterns, and broken patterns get our attention fast. 

Even the most compelling sales pitch won’t get noticed if it’s floating in a sea of sameness.

Surprising ads that break the pattern of sameness will get noticed, and get talked about. 

“Did you see that?!”

Campaign fame – people talking about and sharing your ad – is globally proven to generate greater business effects than ads which aren’t talked about. We measured conversation around brands with Zavy social media data combined with Paymark eftpos terminal data and saw this theory conclusively played out in the New Zealand market too.

You can’t buy word-of-mouth space, but having a remarkable ad gives you the best shot at getting your brand into customer conversations.

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2. Be rewarding

Favourite ads add …to the audience’s life, and to the brand’s competitive edge. What will it give your audience? What will it bring to your brand?

Favourite ads provide a two-way value exchange. 

They give the audience more of what they sat in front of the TV for in the first place: entertainment. 

They give the advertiser a return on investment: emotional priming – making prospective customers more receptive to your sales pitch.

Think about the most effective sales people you’ve encountered while shopping. They build rapport with you, entertain you, make you feel good and fill you with desire. When they get to the product and the price, you’re feeling much more inclined to say yes.

How will your ad add entertainment to your audiences life? Humour? Drama? Knowledge? Nostalgia? A catchy tune?

By rewarding the audience with entertainment, a brand is much more likely to be rewarded with ringing cash registers later.  

couple on couch

3. Be remembered

An ad that’s remarkable and rewarding is only valuable if it’s remembered as belonging to your brand – what elements will make it unmistakably linked to your brand?

Rewarding ads get remembered because they’re worth watching more than once.

Remarkable ads get remembered because people hear other people talking about them.

When people recall and remark upon your ad, what strong signals will help your brand be at the tip of their tongue?

Don’t let the sales pitch get in the way of the story, but don’t just rely on a logo at the end either.

Know your brand assets – colours, characters, phrases, sounds and images that are unmistakably linked to your brand.

How can these brand assets play a starring role in your ad?

Ideally, how can your brand assets appear at the emotional high-points of the story?

Weaving (not shoe-horning) your unmistakable brand assets into the story is crucial for getting a return on investment from a favourite ad.

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Want to know more? You can download the full review of our favourite TVCs tracking here.

headshot of Carl Sarney, Head of Strategy at TRA
Carl Sarney
Head of Strategy at TRA
Carl has 20 years of insight industry experience. He is specialised in brand and comms strategy with a proven history of effective work for his clients, including several gold awards for advertising effectiveness. His research work has taken him to just about every town in New Zealand to speak with people from all walks of life. He's also conducted qualitative research in eight more countries while based in London for two years and spent seven years as an ad agency planner before joining TRA in 2018.

New problems need new solutions.

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