Pretend you are an advertising executive, cigar in your mouth, feet up on your desk. What are you counting? Not views on YouTube, but dollars flowing in from revenue.
Virality is a powerful multiplier to viewership. You can only pay for so many views through content syndication or paid advertising. Eventually, if your ad is going to succeed, it needs to fly on its own.
If we accept that decisions are decided at non-conscious levels, you can’t just go for the viral hit.
All of the ads accessed in The Creative Brain performed well in terms of online except these two: Netflix Pep Talk and PC Financial’s First Girlfriend.
“Sure, you can buy impressions, companies can guarantee that your ad will be seen. But the business won’t move, so why doesn’t the business move?” asked Matt Di Paola, explaining that while views and impressions look good as numbers and indication of reach, it doesn’t always translate into business. “There are clients who are frustrated that they are getting impressions, but they aren’t tracking it to business. Impressions don’t mean anything to the business so how do you know if an ad is working?”
When you are paying for space on TV or buying ads on YouTube, its efficacy is what matters, not its viewership.
“We subconsciously chase that viral hit, and that’s not a bad thing,” said Kevin Keane, co-founder of Brainsights, who developed and deployed The Creative Brain. “But it depends on how persuasive your content is. If we accept that decisions are decided at non-conscious levels, you can’t just go for the viral hit.”
While the two Canadian ads didn’t top one million views, they were more effective than many of the highly produced American spots in all three of the ACE metrics.
“Clients spend a lot of money on creative content, there is a matter of craft and art, you can’t always test and see how people react,” said Di Paola, who has worked with SportChek on an ad featuring Sidney Crosby. “Talent costs are huge, you have one day. Your production costs, the crew, the space, everything. You just don’t have the ability to go back and reshoot that ad.”
From the Creative Brain ads, there are examples of pieces that were both effective and viral as well.
“TD’s piece smashed it on YouTube shares and racked up a massive view count, but it also ranked well against the international ads in the ACE score,” said Keane, who explained that TD ad’s setting and powerful stories helped it thrive against a comparable ad by Always.
Keeping the end goal in mind when building concepts for your creative and not shooting for a viral sensation can help you reach the right people with your next ad.