• digital spend

In the digital gold rush, are brands neglecting TV?

04 October 2016

When is an advert not an advert?

When it’s ajar? No, wait, wrong answer.

When it’s interesting.

That’s the one.

We recently talked about the C word, and how Content Marketing spend is still expected to increase, many years after the very first time suits sat down around a 56K dial-up modem and thought, “we could publish branded media through this.”

Red Bull, McDonalds, L’Oréal, Nationwide, EE, Coca Cola, Always, Doritos, Marriot Hotels, and roughly four or five hundred other brands are all focused on producing more content than you can shake an editorial calendar at.

But many brands realise that most folk don’t have the Coke website or Red Bulletin saved as their home page.

So how are brands looking to spice up their content a little?

Can throwing more money at computer screens across the nation actually help?

It can if you’re brave enough, according to EE brand director Pete Jeavons.

Back in August, he spoke to Marketing Week about the state of digital spend in the industry, and how they’ve committed more resources to their ‘Wembley Cup’ video series than any of their previous digital efforts.

The series pitted popular football Youtubers against each other in a series of challenges, and was so well received by their audience that people demanded more ads, and more options to influence future episodes.

That’s certainly one of the advantages of switching focus to digital – why spend several truckloads of money on high-production TV spots when your audience is going to react better to content online.

Sainsbury’s created a new phenomenon with a swift and smart response to a consumer’s complaint about vegan cheese, saying they should ‘Call it Gary or something, just don’t call it cheese because it’s not cheese!’.

Ask, and ye shall receive, angry social media user, as first Sainsbury’s, then the rest of the internet responded with brilliant photoshopped efforts of their newly renamed cheese offering.

It’s about the right content, as much as the medium itself.

In the wake of Nationwide’s Snapchat filters celebrating A-level results, while promoting student savings accounts, their senior manager of digital marketing, Alex Bennett, said that “if you get the creative right, you can potentially do as much with a Snapchat filter as a 90 second film.”

He’s not wrong.

With budgets for digital ad spend growing quickly, some common sense should still be maintained as to whether the meat of the campaign is actually fit for purpose. 

When EE brand director Jeavons talks about bravery, it’s not necessarily the bravery in committing digital, but rather bravery in the new and unrefined approaches to creative content.

Whether it’s TV or digital, if the idea is done right, with a clear direction and rationale, an ad can become great entertainment, which is worth putting a few bob behind.


Strawman Says

Interesting Content is King. With digital spend on the up, more budget to create more entertaining ads can only be a good thing…right?