100% Digital that’s not 100% invisible

How to create digital creative that gets noticed

Digital is a tough environment, and the reality for many brands is that it is their only point of contact with the consumer before being face to package at retail. Unlike TV, in digital, people are much more actively engaged in pursuing something, not passively waiting to be entertained, with long-form video being the obvious exception. At the other end of the spectrum, even if consumers are searching for a solution your brand can offer, while it provides a good start, you still need to build a relationship and convince them you are their best choice. For most brands, they are living in that messy middle, where they need to get noticed and remembered for future relationship building. Just like meeting a person for the first time, personality, cleverness and relatability count for a lot to start the relationship, but to maintain and grow it, it takes much more. Over time, you need to add more to your story and do more to encourage them to get to know you better. Here are five tips to help you do that.

Tip 1 – Brands need to act like people, not products.

This wasn’t always the case, but social media and today’s consumer mindset have made it that way. The good news is that just like people, this gives your brand flexibility for how it can relate to consumers, going from entertaining to helpful to serious, which helps build a deeper relationship. For Frank’s RedHot, we focused on leftovers after Thanksgiving, which a lot of us like as much as, if not more than, the Thanksgiving meal itself.

Frank you, stuffing! #Franksgiving

Tip 2 – Be helpful.

All too often, brands want to talk only about themselves. Just establishing brand awareness isn’t enough these days. Brand loyalty is earned at every interaction. If you keep helping, consumers will keep being loyal. The loyalty is to the benefits you provide and how you provide them, not to the name/logo on the package. For instance, moms know seafood is healthier than hot dogs for their kids, but how do they get those picky little people to try seafood? How about some tips?

Tip 3 – Stay in your lane, but… when that lane intersects with popular culture, jump in.

It’s a great opportunity to get noticed and build relevant affinity, but remember to not comment on every cultural event. Only comment when you can add to the conversation. Our OLD BAY crab became the perfect “personality” to jump into the social party. Spuds MacKenzie who?

OLD BAY social media

Tip 4 – If your idea requires more than a banner to get across, it’s not simple enough.

That’s not to say that video isn’t important, because it is. It does a great job of conveying emotion and getting the relationship started, but to get fullest advantage of digital, your story needs to work in the most limiting of mediums. Our creative director always says, “Give me a couple days, I’ll give you a great chapter. Give me a week and I’ll give you a great paragraph. Give me two and I’ll give you a sentence that will knock your socks off.”

And please, if you’re talking organic food, skip the three-hour backstory. No one cares that your great uncle Jerry started growing hemp out of the back of his minibus.

Tip 5 – Test that your idea can travel your customer’s journey.

Make sure that your idea can not only get attention, but it can economically get across key benefits that will move you from consideration to preference, and ultimately a sale, not just with your CTA, but by knowing the right time, place and way to ask for it. Chock full o’Nuts was a brand with great New York City DNA, we just needed to find the ways that DNA connected with customers across America.

Digital strategy is important, but ultimately it’s your ability to execute the strategy that gets the sale.

Dan Collins

SVP, Chief Strategy Officer

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