“The shift from image to impact” – new research co-authored by WARC and Ogilvy – explores how marketers are looking to build brands at a time when the way we buy is being challenged.
Why it matters
Since the dawn of advertising, brands have tried to attach themselves to cultural trends. Effective marketing has been about conjuring an image. But now with an abundance of media and intense competition for scarce and finite attention, brands must cater to an audience that is beyond being simply a receiver of messages. The public are submerged in the experiences which brands create and the content they serve.
People’s expectations of brands are evolving. To improve performance, brands should consider showing how they are contributing to people and the planet (as well as profit) to fill a “trust vacuum” that exists.
Consumer dynamics are changing. People are being pulled in different directions at once. For example, how people define themselves versus how they’re defined through others; the paradox of uniqueness versus equality and the growing demand for both personalised and shared experiences. To increase impact and distinctiveness, many brands need to change how they ‘show’ and how they ‘act’. For example, from mirroring mass trends to becoming magnets for individuals, moving from aspirational to inspirational, or serving consumers as companion brands.
Brands need to develop methodologies to measure how much impact they deliver currently. Many of the component parts will already be in place; the challenge is bringing them together into a single view.
The big idea
With a public that is more selective in its choice of brands – while holding those brands to a higher standard – brands can no longer market how they used to. Brands must be companions, not destinations. They must include, not exclude. Above all else, they must have impact. The brands that do will sustain growth, and they’ll do so by making an impact on people, on the planet, and on their companies’ performance.
Opportunities and challenges: How APAC can embrace entropy
Asia (general region)
As the Asia-Pacific region enters the endemic phase of the global health crisis, there are both challenges and opportunities amid the change and disorder expected to play out over the next few years.
Why it matters
To navigate through the disruptions and unpredictability of a post-pandemic world, APAC brands can bounce back from the crisis by collaborating with consumers and creators, encouraging lifecycle loyalty, and leveraging tech-fueled innovations and implications.
Indian consumers will spend more with brands they trust
Indian consumers are significantly more likely than others in the Asia-Pacific region to spend more money with brands they trust, according to research* from Adobe.
Almost half (48%) of Indian consumers indicated they would spend at least US$1,000 more each year with trusted brands, compared to 29% in SouthEast Asia and just 14% in Australia.
Why it matters
While one always has to be wary of the say-do gap, it’s clear there is a correlation between brand trust and consumer behaviour and there is potential for brands to shift the needle in India if they can protect consumer data – a key drive of mistrust – and deliver personalised experiences that inspire trust.
Just over one third (35%) of APAC consumers felt digital experiences were more important in enabling trust, compared to 23% who preferred in-person experiences. In India, 47% favoured digital over in-person experiences.
In India, more than 60% suggested they would stop purchasing from brands that fail to provide a valuable personal experience.
Nine in ten (87%) APAC business leaders say earning trust has become harder since the onset of the pandemic.
Indian business leaders are optimistic that AI will improve their customers’ experiences (98%) and increase efficiency at work.
“Trust is a non-negotiable driver of brand growth in today’s digital economy” – Prativa Mohapatra, vice president and managing director, Adobe India, in remarks reported by Brand Equity.
Addressing gender stereotyping in Australian advertising
Diversity & portrayal in advertisingAustralia
From model mothers to passive little girls, stereotyped depictions of females continue to appear in Australian advertising and many within the industry are reluctant to call these out for fear of negative consequences.
A recent survey of advertising professionals by advertising equality movement shEqual found that while depictions of women that were respectful (93%), realistic (88%) and diverse (89%) were extremely or very important to respondents, almost one in three (30%) were concerned about the repercussions if they spoke out on potentially sexist or stereotyped content.
Other reasons for not speaking up included feeling it wasn’t their place (30%), they weren’t senior enough (29%) and a lack of experience (27%).
Why it matters
Following up on that survey, shEqual has now launched a new guide, Female Stereotypes in Advertising, to help creatives, strategists, and brands identify and address problematic stereotypes.
“It’s vital for the health and wellbeing of women that ads don’t reinforce harmful expectations and social norms,” says Dianne Hill, CEO of Women’s Health Victoria (the organisation leading the shEqual movement). “A good starting point is removing caricatures of women in advertising and replacing them with more realistic and diverse representations of women.”
Seven stereotypes and some missing women
The Model Mother: women are shown as the primary caretakers of both home and children.
The Passive Little Girl: while boys are shown engaging in active play, girls sit passively, often playing with dolls and house appliances – and everything is pink.
The Observed Woman: the observed woman loses her agency and authority in the male gaze.
The Sexualised Woman: a woman’s value is hosen as coming only from her sex appeal.
The Pretty Face: women are shown as secondary and “just a pretty face” without much intelligence or independence.
The Magical Grandmother: on the rare occasions older women do appear in ads they are often in the kitchen serving food, smiling and supporting younger characters, with few spoken lines.
The Ticked Box: characters included to check diversity boxes, but commonly limited to the background.
The missing women: broadly absent from ads are women with disabilities, women with larger bodies, queer women, older women, and women of colour – particularly First Nations women.
Sourced from shEqual, Mumbrella [Image: Getty images]
Looking at advertising effectiveness through the lens of a popular sports stat
Account planning, strategic planning
The sports stat WAR – for “Wins Above Replacement” – used to determine how many more games a team will win because a certain player plays on it (rather than a substitute), can be reapplied to advertising; by examining what are best-in-class uses of elements such as media or creative, marketers can deliver a much higher return on ad spend (ROAS).