Advertising. Such a key component in marketing. Did you know that in 2018, the most watched ads on YouTube, by Singaporeans, were made in Singapore?
That’s right. According to the YouTube Ads Leaderboard itself, six of the top 10 ads in the first half of the year came from Singapore. In fact, the top 4 places were dominated by ads with a compelling and emotional story. What these ads do well in is portray a heartfelt story driven by a goal to connect, rather than to sell. And that’s the key to truly engage your consumers.
Evolve your advertising strategy with the times
In 1984, a psychologist by the name of Walter Fisher developed a communication theory that we can put to use when we talk about ads. Known as the narrative paradigm, it posits that humans, at our core, are storytellers, and thus we thrive on narrative communication.
This is perhaps one of the reasons why emotional content performed so well in the YouTube Ads Leaderboard. Since storytelling is one of the oldest modes of communication, humans today still make decisions and act within this narrative framework, approaching the social world in such a mindset.
With this knowledge, we can confidently construct effective ads that will capture the heart and minds of Singaporeans alone. Today, there are so many advertisements floating around in the digital space that it can be hard to stand out amidst the clutter sometimes. Here’s some lessons on how to better stand out that we can learn from the top ads themselves.
1. Disrupt the conventional
The Briefcase is an advertisement that balances the fine line between heartwarming and bittersweet. Inspired by the experiences of many travellers, The Briefcase captures this universal feeling of homesickness to bring us on a journey — even when we’re not flying.
Powerful yet emotive, this ad pulls on the heartstrings of its viewers and leaves them with a bittersweet feeling. By inspiring viewers to think about their families during the festive season, The Briefcase successfully manages to connect with its audience on a topic that all of us can relate to — family — driving home the tagline, You’re never far from those you love.
Produced by TBWA Singapore, the ad by the Paris-based agency taps into their core philosophy, “disruption”. Taking notes from Todorov’s narrative structure theory, TBWA Singapore seeks to “disrupt the peace” with the unconventional. Using this system, they identify recent changes or action in culture to develop their advertising strategy.
Todorov’s theory states that there are five stages of narration and that all stories begin in a state of equilibrium. Disruption – the second stage in the narrative cycle – refers to an event that disrupts the peaceful state of equilibrium. By using this theory to their advantage, TBWA manages to stand out amongst competitors and implement their own unique flavour in each of their ads.
2. Animation is key
Not convinced with this advertisement? Animated videos are all the rage right now, particularly when it comes to explainer videos, and here’s why. 75% of adults turn to YouTube for nostalgia rather than tutorials or current events. With animation, your imagination is the limit.
In a way that live-action videos might be unable to, animation videos bring concepts to life and simplify them for viewers to easily digest. Just look at TED-Ed. Knowing how helpful animations can be in engaging their audience, they have begun incorporating it as part of their content.
Not only that, animation suits just about any marketing need imaginable. Be it explainer videos or other forms of content, marketers recognise this great trend and are all adopting it as part of their strategy. This might explain why more than 60% of the best explainer videos collected by Hubspot, Video Brewery and Switch Video are animated.
In fact, did you know that 92% of consumers watch videos with the sound off? And only 50% of them rely on captions to understand the video content!
You could be potentially losing 50% of your consumers just because your content is not reaching them. To rectify this, you need to make sure your video is able to portray whatever message you want to bring across. In this scenario, a live-action video might present some restraints where an animated video does not.
The ad by Invisible Artists does just that — it explains the brand perfectly while remaining concise and engaging. The adorable animation is what draws the audience in at first, where the topic of finance is then presented. Everyone needs money — so this is a perfect point to focus on since viewers can relate to it.
Invisible Artists is an award-winning company that has worked with famous brands like Coca-Cola, Facebook, and The Body Shop. In 2014, they were titled the Investment Into The UK Award, just three years after their establishment. This advertising agency has definitely proven its potential, to say the least.
If you want to go above and beyond, the best way to capture your audience’s attention is to involve them in an activity. Sticking a video in front of their noses might work, but do you know what’s even better? Games!
The amount of information absorbed by a viewer cannot be calculated or determined even if they have watched your video — but you can be sure that your brand is going to leave an impression in their mind when you present them with an activity to engage in.
This is what Hashmeta does well. They understand how pivotal a game can be in propelling an advertising strategy to success, and capitalise on it to generate leads and engagement for their clients. Even a simple quiz can be quite entertaining, as you can see for yourself!
The advertisement for NTUC LearningHub in fact reached more than 8000 players. Better yet, the average number of times a user played was 2.09. That means that players were actually hooked onto the quiz itself that they decided to replay it once more! Talk about engagement. Certainly, games might be the future of online advertising, so why not jump into it now?
4. Use the environment to your advantage
What can we say? These creative environmental ads just blow our mind. By taking an ordinary space into something funny.
Billboarders are here to help — by going against the norm. Despite the soar in the popularity of digital marketing, they recognise the potential in physical space. Instead of going with the flow, they decided to think out-of-the-box and offer a multimedia solution instead.
By creating the idea of human billboards, Billboarders give business a chance to build interpersonal relationships with their consumers while at the same time seeming witty. Comprising professionals who interact with audiences, they are able to deliver advantages that no other medium can match.
Such an innovative way of advertising not only grabs immediate attention, but is also interactive and fun. Not to mention, these human billboards can go anywhere and anytime, based on your preferences!
If you have been searching for a clever and extremely unique concept for your next advertising campaign, consider Billboarders’ direct media solution of limitless opportunities and remarkable results.
5. Let others do it for you
Ahh, yes. Social media advertising is yet another at the height of the marketing industry. With 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, it is no wonder businesses are turning to such platforms to drive their advertising campaigns. Of these users, 1 billion of them are active monthly on Instagram.
We’ve talked about how sponsored videos get thrice more comments than sponsored photos. But we have not yet talked about the potential of Instagram Stories, and how you can tap into it to bring about the best benefits for your brand. So let us.
Just based on statistics alone, there are 500 million daily active stories users, of which one-third of the most viewed Instagram Stories stem from businesses. In fact, Socialbakers found that brands can generate over four times more interactions on Instagram compared to Facebook!
What does this mean? Well, perhaps it’s time to look beyond Instagram Ads and Instagram posts for marketing — and dive deep into the world of Instagram Stories. Your consumers are already using it, why shouldn’t you?
In fact, Stories stickers can increase video viewership 83% of the time. This means that there is a huge potential in grabbing consumers’ attention via Instagram stories, by creating your own branded stickers and filters.
Introducing the Spark AR Studio, Facebook now lets anyone create their own augmented reality filters, which means that businesses can use this tool to further their marketing needs. Filters can even be used while streaming on Instagram Live, which gives you even more reason to use it!
Here’s a little fun fact: the heart love sticker is the most popular Giphy sticker in Instagram Stories, and the most used face filter is the one with the heart eyes. With this interesting tidbit, perhaps you now have an idea of what sort of stickers and filters you want to create for your brand?
The Secret Little Agency partnered up with Circles Life to address one issue brought about by the pandemic. Targeting working adults who are now working from home, they adeptly created an Instagram filter for those who are too lazy to put on proper clothes when answering a work-related video call.
Comprising a few different “outfits”, these filters are not only available on Instagram but also on Snapchat, Zoom, and Google Hangouts. Talk about being handy! Indeed, this tongue-in-cheek advertising stunt brought about many laughs for consumers who had an amusing time playing around with the filters.
Is your brand in need of a clever advertising and marketing strategy?
If you thought the list above ended at the fifth point, you’re in for a treat. There are so many ways to creatively express yourself through different marketing stunts, the possibilities are endless. Why not let MIU think of one for you?
So if you’re looking for a professional company to kickstart your digital marketing campaigns, consider contacting us today. Get ready to go on the wildest journey with our crazy ideas and innovative experiences — for both you and your consumers.