AdReaction found that while the benefits of well integrated and customised ad campaigns are substantial, boosting campaign effectiveness by 57%, this represented fewer than half (46%) of all campaigns tested. What's more, the study revealed that marketers and consumers have different views on whether campaigns successfully fit together. Most marketers (89%) surveyed believe their campaign strategies are integrated, but just over half (58%) of consumers agree.
The study is based on new quantitative research in 45 countries, multichannel copy testing of 12 campaigns from eight countries, and custom analysis of Kantar Millward Brown's global media effectiveness and copy testing databases. The results provide marketers with a global and country-by-country analysis of how consumers and marketers view integration, the importance of customising content for each placement, and the characteristics of campaigns that work.
"Consumers feel overwhelmed by advertising from all angles while marketers struggle to make the most of ad formats and channels to best reach consumers, and the latest AdReaction report unveils a disconnect between how marketers and consumers perceive campaign success," said Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director, Media and Digital, Kantar Millward Brown. "In AdReaction, we've laid out guiding principles to help marketers better integrate campaigns across channels and identified the key creative elements of successful campaigns as best practices."
AdReaction: The Art of Integration identifies several guiding principles for brands to consider when implementing multichannel campaigns that build successful brands and avoid the pitfalls of fragmentation.
Integrate more campaign cues: Even without any customisation, integrated campaigns are 31% more effective at building brands, yet still one in four of the campaigns analysed were not well integrated. The more cues used, the better. Consumers expect multichannel campaigns to deliver basic connective elements like the same logo and slogan. However, the study shows that consistent characters or personalities are the individual cues which most help brand impact, often differentiating the best campaigns. The report also found that all channels benefit from synergies, but some channels work particularly well with each other. The strongest overall synergy combinations are between TV and Facebook, and TV and outdoor.
Start with a strong campaign idea: The idea is the most important component of the campaign. Great campaigns need a strong central idea to act as connective tissue across all content, and integrated content needs to cue this idea. Campaigns with a strong central idea perform better across all brand KPIs (+64%), especially brand image associations (+91%), as well as across all channels.
Make each ad in an integrated campaign amazing: Within the multichannel pretesting, we see a campaign is defined most closely by the average of all executions, even more so than the best or worst individual execution. Unless media spend will be skewed towards one execution, every piece of content matters and contributes to overall success and brand building.
Invest only in channels that have a clear role in the campaign: Marketers need to choose channels wisely – only using those which have a clear role in the campaign and in reaching the target audience. It's also important to understand what each channel can deliver in terms of impact and cost. For example, online ads are cost effective in extending TV reach and building brand metrics from awareness through to purchase intent. However, consumers' attitudes are more positive to traditional media than online advertising and people are more likely to recall negative online targeting experiences than positive ones.
Customise content for each channel: There is a sweet spot between integration and customisation. A strong integrated campaign must be flexible enough to enable novel, complementary content, but familiar enough to link the key campaign elements tightly together.
Additional key findings include:
- Marketers struggle to find balance between integration and customisation. Twenty nine percent of the ads tested were integrated but not customised while 26% of the ads were not sufficiently integrated.
- Around the world, consumers feel they are seeing more ads in more places. Eighty-one percent of global respondents report this has increased versus three years ago, and the figure is above 70% in all countries surveyed other than Japan. Most consumers around the world (69%) also agree that ads are more intrusive now. This figure is above 50% in all countries other than China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Indonesia.
- When asked if campaigns are doing a better job at storytelling and integrating across formats, responses vary more by country. Consumers feel marketers are making the most progress in Nigeria, India, Saudi Arabia, China and Brazil, but fewer are convinced progress is being made in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France and Czech Republic.
"Media channels will continue to fragment and evolve," added Southgate, "but smart marketers will see the opportunities to connect with consumers in new, meaningful ways. Importantly, we know using more media channels can improve campaign effectiveness, but only if the channels work synergistically."
Review the global and country specific results of the AdReaction: The Art of Integration report here.
About AdReaction: The Art of Integration
Kantar Millward Brown surveyed more than 14,000 16-65 year olds between August and November 2017 in 45 countries (at least 300 per country). Consumer attitudes quoted above are global averages across all countries. Media effectiveness learning came from new analysis of Kantar Millward Brown's CrossMedia database among 223 campaigns which had been monitored during 2015-2017. Creative learning came from campaign ad testing of 12 campaigns in eight countries.
This new AdReaction consumer research was contrasted with results from Kantar Millward Brown's September 2017Getting Media Right study including views from over 300 leading marketers representing advertisers, agencies and media companies across the world.
AdReaction studies have been conducted since 2001, delivering insights on consumers' perceptions of advertising, particularly digital formats.
AdReaction: The Art of Integration addresses key questions facing marketers, including:
- What is the global state of play for multichannel campaigns?
- How should campaigns be integrated to maximise overall impact?
- How should campaign creative be customised to make the most of each individual channel format?
About Kantar Millward Brown
Kantar Millward Brown is a leading global research agency specialising in advertising effectiveness, strategic communication, media and digital, and brand equity research. The company helps clients grow great brands through comprehensive research-based qualitative and quantitative solutions. Kantar Millward Brown operates in more than 55 countries and is part of WPP's Kantar group, one of the world's leading data, insight and consultancy companies. Learn more at www.millwardbrown.com