How Effective are Annoying Adverts in Digital Media Campaigns?

There’s an old maxim that goes “Any publicity is good publicity” – and it’s been used to justify an endless stream of bad TV adverts over the years. Some vaguely irritating, and others downright terrible. But even if an advert is annoying, it’s still memorable, which is the whole point of using advertising to build brand awareness… right?

This may have been true for TV commercials, but in the world of digital out of home advertising, does this theory still apply? DOOH is vastly different in terms of content and outcomes, so the principles that make a successful TV ad aren’t necessarily relevant, and annoying might be detrimental rather than beneficial.

 

Irritating TV adverts – the good, the bad and the ugly

There is no doubt that in the past, many adverts that viewers found distinctly irritating still produced amazing results for advertisers. A key example is Compare the Market, whose “Compare the meerkat” advert campaign resulted in the company becoming the fourth most visited insurance website in the UK. And who can forget Go Compare’s operatic jingle? This advert has been repeatedly voted as the UK’s most annoying advert in various polls, which the advertiser leveraged off by extending the campaign featuring a gagged opera singer.

On the other hand, in some cases annoying degenerates into absolutely cringe worthy. Tango’s “You’ve been Tango’d” campaign barely deserves a mention. Yet, it still delivered results in its day. But does this tactic work for DOOH? In short, no.

While the medium may be similar in that both TV and DOOH make use of video, the context and expected outcomes are totally different. Think about it: in the days before live streaming, viewers were forced to sit through TV commercials if they wanted to watch their favourite programme. The more memorable an advert, the greater the success of the campaign, even if the advert irritated consumers.

DOOH advertising does not force viewers to engage. In the same way that they can click off a web pop up, skip a YouTube ad, consumers can simply walk away and choose not to watch. What’s more, while traditional TV adverts were simply about building brand awareness, digital media seeks to create connections between consumers and brands, and the way to do this is through strategically developed content that seeks to engage consumers and not annoy them.

 

The key ingredients of a successful digital campaign

Although irritating adverts to ensure memorability are out, many of the elements of effective advertising still apply to DOOH campaigns. Great advertising contains a simple, focused message that is strongly linked to the brand, is relatable, personal and meaningful to consumers, and communicates clearly how and why the product or service being advertised will benefit the consumer.

Add one more element for DOOH – engagement. The focus should be on developing exceptional content, and integrating across various digital platforms such as social media and smart devices. Get this right, and you’ve got a winning digital advertising campaign.

 

If you require flexible, strategically developed digital content that ensures engagement, Mass Media Advertising are experts in DOOH advertising and media. For more information please contact us today.

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