At our Oracle Data Cloud Live activation here in Cannes, panelists from AOL Platforms, Flipboard, Google, Dstillery and General Mills debated the question, “Can Online Creative Be Cannes-worthy?” The best advertising industry panels feature healthy conflict and debate on the given topic.
The panel universally agreed that regardless of whether or not online creative can be Cannes-worthy, that advertisers need to deliver a connected experience to their consumer. But, does that connection need to be emotional? Can ads inspire just transactional behavior or do brands have to create a deeper relationship with their audience?
Flipboard CEO Mike McCue thinks that they do. McCue pointed to data that indicates much consumer engagement with digital content suggests that users favor the quantity of their content vs. quality and to get your attention, ad creative needs to strike an emotional chord with users.
“Advertising inspires consumers to take action so brands should aspire to make a connections with them that go beyond transactional, the goal should be to build an emotional connections with consumers that last the test of time,” said McCue, who drove the point home using a popular brand of fellow panelist, General Mills CMO Ann Simonds: Cheerios.
The well and widely loved cereal brand is a household name that has created deep connections with consumers, many who have a history of eating the cereal themselves as children now feed it to their own families.
Another agreed upon point: Cannes-worthy digital creative isn’t about copy anymore, with such a wealth of rich content available to audiences, brands now need to deliver an online user experience to capture their attention.
Google’s Michael Yapp highlighted dog food brand Pedigree’s Found campaign, as a perfect example of creating something that deeply engages consumers while at the same time promoting its’ product. The campaign features a custom app to deliver real-time local alerts about lost pets and additional ads can be delivered cross-device about the service.
Emotional connection and creating an experience for users collide perfectly into the timely now viral example of the Cheerio Challenge - dads stacking Cheerios on their sleeping babies and then sharing photos of it on social media.
According to Simonds from General Mills, engagement like the Cheerio Challenge is a shining example of what happens when brands go deeper than transactions. “When you build a relationship that goes beyond the transactional, your community will begin to build experiences for you,” commented Simonds.
So how does data play into this new world of creating online experiences vs. just ad copy? The resounding sentiment of the panelists is that data makes the digital world a sand box to get immediate feedback on whether or not your creative is resonating with your audience.
When advertising is relevant to the consumer, if brands are cultivating creative that drives the desired purchase behavior, data is there to show them.