05 Oct How you can use Advertainment to Engage and Delight
I have written often about Badvertising, especially as it relates to native advertising.
Badvertising is advertising, native or otherwise, that bores, misleads or worse, unintentionally undermines an advertiser’s brand by making potential customers angry.
Local native advertising becomes Badvertising when it is self-serving, public relations puffery or just downright boring.
Your goal must be to surprise and delight local native ad readers. That’s a high hurdle to overcome and not every native ad can meet the challenge.
Nevertheless, delight needs to be the goal at the starting line. Otherwise Badvertising results at the finish line.
One morning recently, I dialed into a YouTube channel I follow and was greeted with a preroll ad. Probably like you, I usually count the seconds until I can obliterate the preroll and get to the programming I want.
Not this time.
On the screen, an adorable yet unidentifiable animal singing “in the jungle the city jungle the human works tonight …” confronted me. I was intrigued.
Take away for you: It took one unusual visual and precisely 10 words to set the hook. I wanted to watch further.
Then the real magic began. There was a fast cut to a big city scene and mention of the concrete jungle. Another fast cut to a bored worker staring at a spreadsheet on his screen with more tasks piling up on his desk, and mention in the song of how uptight he has become. Now back to the animals chorusing, “You need some time away.” The whole song is lip synched by winningly cute animals to the tune of The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
Take away for you: As Hillary Clinton said during the first debate: Words matter. you may not be able to create something like the high production video described above. Few of us can. However, everyone can be creative in their approach to storytelling. Everyone can and should work really hard to present engaging stories that make people want to spend time with our native ad content.
Even though I “wasted” more than half a minute watching that ad, and I couldn’t bring myself to block it. I wanted to see where they went with it. I needed to see more. The animals kept getting cuter. The creators continued to use clever words to move the story along. I still didn’t know who the advertiser was. I stayed to find out. Finally at 2:00 minutes a baby sea turtle tells me to, “come to Costa Rica.”
Take away for you: This advertiser had confidence that the viewer would spend 2minutes with the content. How sure are you about yours? This advertainment was almost totally about the viewer, not the advertiser. This is the key to successful native advertising.
Again, most of us do not have clients with the budget to produce something like this. It must have cost tens of thousands of dollars – maybe even six figures.
That’s not the point. The point is whatever the budget, you owe it to your clients to make an over the top effort to tell an engaging story.
Finally, the ad ended with a simple and intriguing url: savetheamericans.org.
Take away for you: While great advertainment is a huge benefit to your customers, don’t stop there. If they have a lousy website, make it better. If they need geo-targeting, package it. If they need call-to-action display ads in print or commercials on TV, make that part of your plan.
Our job is to bring potential buyers to the door of our advertisers. It starts by creating a compelling and hopefully entertaining message, but that’s just the starting point. The end game is to help the advertiser present a total package that leads prospects to a smart buying decision — smart first for the customer and only then for the advertiser.
One thing this advertiser got wrong: While they made it easy to share this video on Facebook and Twitter, they did not make it easy to embed here. To see the video go to this url http://savetheamericans.org/ and click on “A Song From The Animals.” You can learn a lot from this advertainment.