What Do We Really Want From Advertising?
This is a question that applies to both the consumer and the company. Is advertising purely there to boost sales and make us think about a brand? Is it to trash talk the competition so they look good by comparison? Or is it something brands are simply expected to do to stay relevant in the marketplace?
Advertising of course is often designed to do all of these things, but the real question is, what do we want from it? From a company’s point of view, they want an advertisement which is going to engage their target audience. More than that, an advertisement which will offer something of genuine value. If your advertisement can do this, then a customer is more likely to recall your product or service and want to utilise them.
From the consumer’s point of view, they want an advertisement which tells a story.
Tell – don’t sell
When companies tell a story, they are humanising their brand and giving consumers a sneak peek as to what motivates them, what drives them – and why they do what they do. Some brands trip over themselves in their haste to gush about all their fancy products and life altering features. Whereas, explaining to the consumer why they cared enough to design it for people in the first place, adds an emotional element to the mix. People love to have their imagination invested in a story where they can relate to a brand on an emotional level.
Advertising provides a medium to truly connect with your audience
A successful ad should build trust with your target audience. Once you’ve established this credible relationship, consumers are typically more willing to pay attention and listen to why they should buy from you. Telling a story with your ad allows you to put a face to your brand and elicit an empathetic reaction from your audience. A truly great story will put the audience in your company’s shoes and make your brand more relatable.
It’s story time
Let’s run through a little demonstration together. Say your business is a developer of marine satellite antennas for boats. Not the most exciting topic – and there’s more than likely a lot of technical jargon. Although perhaps the head of the company is an avid boat lover themselves, perhaps he or she is known for winning the odd fishing tournament or two. Or maybe, the entire basis for them starting their company was due to a marine satellite saving their family’s lives when their vessel broke down and they were able to use the antenna to call for a rescue. Whatever your company’s story, incorporate some element of it into your next advertisement and tell a story which your audience can relate to.
The most important thing to remember – don’t fabricate your story. Consumers intuitively know when something doesn’t feel organic and lying to them will only make it harder for them to trust you.