Updated: Oct 28
School exam papers include creating ads as a 5 mark question and students often have a standard strategy to bag those 5 marks. Mission accomplished. But is that all an ad is about? Teens at the Young Executives' Club recently talked about ads that resonated with them in a vibrant group discussion and determined key factors that make an ad a success.
Does a creation of an ad deserve only five marks? Thankfully it is only that as otherwise it is possible that the student could lose a lot of marks. Creating an impactful ad isn’t easy. As one of the teens at the Young Executives' Club pointed out an ad needs to appeal at an emotional level or it needs to be inspiring. Striking a chord with the potential customer’s emotions or inspiring them isn’t something that can be created in minutes. It takes thought, effort and at some level even testing it out on a live audience.
As one of the teens at the Young Executives' Club pointed out an ad needs to appeal at an emotional level or it needs to be inspiring.
Which ad comes to your mind first when someone asks to recall any ad?
This question led to all the young executives sharing ads that stayed with them for long. In that process we discovered the following:
The story in the video ad stayed but not exactly the product. There was no immediate desire to buy the product. This was stated in response to one of the Cadbury’s ads.
The music in some ads are easy to connect with and hence enhances the recall of the product itself. However, it did not result in purchase.
However ads made the product kind of familiar hence there was a willingness to buy and try the product. The example quoted in this context, was that of Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew is portrayed as a biker’s energy drink and hence the association is with adventure and possible adrenaline rush. After the initial reluctance of trying something new, the taste was appealing and hence was something that could be bought in the future.
Out of the box advertising strategies that needed a bit of bold attitude to execute. An interesting contribution from one of the teens brought to light the high percentage that Red Bull spends on advertising and marketing. This teen even shared how the company once placed crushed Red Bull cans strategically in places where people visited a lot and soon after witnessed a steady rise in sales. Turns out that FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) kicked in and worked in the company’s favour.
Ads that made them ponder. Case in point ads that show men sharing the workload at home with the women of the house. One of the teens had an interesting snippet to share. She said these ads always made her ponder about the need for these ads. That's because growing up she has seen her father help around quite a bit in the house and that felt normal. Seeing ads such as these that strive to bring gender equality made her ponder that other homes may not be like hers. She learnt to appreciate her home front even more!
Growing up she has seen her father help around quite a bit in the house and that felt normal. Seeing ads such as these that strive to bring gender equality made her ponder that other homes may not be like hers. She learnt to appreciate her home front even more!
At this point, we had three important factors for successful ad on the whiteboard.
Inspire or enable the customer to aspire.
Make use of FOMO.
Thought provoking narrative.
Steve Jobs and his famous speech on Nike’s Marketing strategy.
He starts this speech with about products delivering on ‘value’. That he says how a product will be remembered forever. Speaking about Nike being a great brand and their marketing strategy, he says,
Nike sells a commodity. They sell shoes…They don’t talk about air soles…They honor great athletes and they honor great athletics. That’s what they are. That’s what they are about.
Listen to the speech here.
Creating a Nike style ad isn’t easy but it is definitely food for thought.
Irrespective of whether we are in marketing or in any other profession, we are constantly marketing either a product/service or sometimes our own skills. What is the value we want to deliver is something that perhaps would be useful for the teens to remember as they grow into successful adults. With that premise in mind the teens were presented the following ad.
Give yourself a couple of mins to react before you scroll down to discover what the teens’ reactions were…
First reactions were,
“What is that?”
“I don’t understand the ad!”
“Why would anyone do that?”
“I like it, it is innovative.”
“Perhaps the story is that the person who owns this shoe is in trouble with the car owner. So he has inserted the shoe to prevent the car owner from following him as he runs.”
“But who would put an expensive Nike shoe into a car’s exhaust!”
A few moments of silence….
“Wait a minute. We are talking about Nike. If Nike’s ads are seldom about shoes and more about the person who wears them, this ad has different story.”
“Could be a different message…something that says, don’t use the car instead wear Nike shoes and run.”
“Could it be a message to people who want to keep fit but are not able to. Wearing a Nike shoe could make the difference and a run might actually turn out to be an enjoyable thing to do.”
“True, it is about making the person wearing Nike shoes feel better about themselves. It is something to aspire for and perhaps even possible to do.”
Given a chance teens can figure out a lot by themselves through free expression, group discussions and mutual support. When that happens, they move a step forward in terms of confidence.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Executives' Club program offers spoken and written communication skills development course for the 12-14 age group.
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