As the traditional media audience continues to get more fragmented, marketers are demanding that their investment in TV work harder. Prior to the web, a traditional approach took the form of combined TV, radio, print and billboard campaigns. While it has been slow to evolve online, there is now a growing segment of marketers involving their branded, promotional or corporate websites as an integrated component of the media campaign.
TV/web advertising integration is moving beyond the traditional notion of a simple mix of media focused at a target audience across media channels. It is now migrating toward integrated consumer involvement that offers the opportunity to extend the brand message beyond a 15- or 30-second spot and engage consumers with additional descriptive content, an interactive game, promotions and user-generated content.
As with any evolutionary process, there are leaders and laggards, as well as emerging standards and best practices. In this article we will show you what it takes to be one of the leaders.
This seems very basic but as the research indicated, while 60 percent of advertisers are including brand/corporate URLs, 40 percent of TV placement does not include them in ads. This is despite research indicating the blend of online and offline media channels has an additive effect on recall.
When including a URL in an ad, make it visible, simple and give the viewer a chance to read it. This may also seem basic, but it's a mistake that marketers still make.
Example 1: Mercedes is known for creating beautiful advertising that strikes an emotional chord with its typically loyal consumers. The demographic for this product most likely has a home PC and broadband connection. However, by the size of the type, Mercedes is reluctantly including the URL at the end of this spot as if to complete the mandatory items on the creative brief checklist.
Example 2: On the other end of the spectrum, Vonage gives consumers a chance to reach out via phone or web in clearly articulated text. Other Vonage ads encouraged users to seek out pricing specials on their website.
The branding, tone and positioning of the TV and web counterparts should be a cohesive viewer/user experience.
This doesn’t mean the same agency needs to execute both components of the campaign but they should be working off the same brief and communicating with each other.
With just a little bit of coordination and effort, the messaging and tone should be a consistent execution of the TV experience.
Chrysler pulls off the tongue in cheek Dr Z campaign from offline to online by carrying over the TV ad’s question and answer theme to the web. While the animated, mustachioed spokesperson may take the notion of integration too far, the themes are right on target.
Viewers visit the website via a call to action in the TV ad to AskDrZ.com. Once there, the TV advertisements are available for viewing as is a question review and input prompt.
Mini-sites are an ideal way to integrate offline and online media, given the ability to break away from the global corporate/brand website creative to speak to the unique nature of the campaign.
Mitsubishi Motors made media industry news by invoking the TV commercial version of a cliffhanger-- hurling bowling balls, grills and ultimately cars out the back of a semi-truck trailer at their new model car and its competition.
Once online via a unique URL that was easily remembered and traceable, the viewer could watch the remainder of the advertisement as well as view brand/car specific clips and learn more about car features and benefits.
Mitsubishi took a direct attack at its primary competition, knew its consumer went online to research car purchase and then directed these consumers to local dealers through online referrals.
Similarly, Reebok’s Terry Tate ad broke in the 2003 Super Bowl and earned awards for creativity by developing a character that lived online. As new Terry Tate episodes were created, fans/consumers were directed to catch the next "episode" via an email announcement and a viral element of "send to a friend."
The new episodes had watercooler/viral discussion appeal for the Reebok brand that generated an increase in awareness of the brand and created a following of Terry Tate loyal viewers anticipating the next show.
Reebok was able to engage users for longer than a typical 30- or 60-second spot as episodes lasted three to four minutes. Reebok captured email addresses and created an opportunity to build an ongoing email and web conversation with the Reebok Terry Tate consumer.