Smart companies investment in the creation of ads which will have longevity. These ads pay dividends well into the future, and solidify brand personas. Too often, the digital realm is mistaken for a instantaneous platform. Click, consider, buy or leave. Just as broadcast was utilized to drive brand awareness and (hopefully) retail sales, digital can too.
Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is. These ads weren’t necessarily great, but they were memorable. Don’t mistake memorable for an ad that pays dividends. What we are talking about was not previously available in the broadcast world. A great television commercial was just that. Seen at the time the brand was willing to pay for a flight of commercials and gone after the campaign dollars ran out.
Today, consumers are seeing great ads over and over again with no paid flight from the brand. Many of these ads come from decades past. Sometimes those ads have been digitized by advertising enthusiasts. Other times, it’s because the brand has revived an oldie but goodie. However, they would not be shared and distributed widely if consumers didn’t find benefit in choosing to view these ads.
This is the simplest definition of advertising dividends any marketer can use. Remember the Mac or PC ads? What about McGruff the Crime Dog? Remember Mountain Dew on SNL? These commercials have gained a renewed life in the digital space. There’s more to these ads than the dividend of replay due to entertainment though.
Human emotion gives advertisements a life of their own. Let’s talk about the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales. This brand has created an icon. Horses are no longer used in the transportation of the product, and yet still represent the glorious brand. Families and children visit these brand beasts at factories and seek them out at town fairs and parades.
These horses have appeared in numerous television commercials from playing football in the snow to marching, as soldiers would in silence, down New York streets across a world-renowned bridge to genuflect to the memory of two buildings that were once landmarks of New York City and the tragic loss of many lives.
This video has been posted numerous times and has millions of views.
Advertising for dividends goes beyond the broadcast world finding new life in digital streams. It is about furthering the experiential world through the hearts of consumers.
Utter the brand name of TOMS shoes when speaking to anyone, and you would quickly envision images of desolate children smiling as a pair of new shoes are placed on their feet or they are given better eyesight. Go visit the brand online and this commitment is told over and over and over. But the storyteller is not the brand anymore. Yes the text in the book cover may be the brand, but the storyteller is now the person who shares the story from the heart rather than from the advertising agency.
A single video post by TOMS garners 4M views in just a few months. This brand, this advertising, this story, this loyalty pays dividends. This content isn’t just an advertisement. It isn’t just a public relations campaign. It is a story that people will tell and retell, share and explore. It’s a classic, sitting on the shelf, waiting for yet another avid reader.
One other brand that continues to impress me, and most likely all marketers, is LEGO. This amazing children’s toy has grown from simple snap blocks to presenting movie characters and fantasy locations, to being art work in cultural circles, and is thriving in a world of digital competition.
Lego has also learned the power of producing content through a vibrant brand belief. This content is more powerful than any single promotion will ever be. Lego has learned that creating value for everyone is much more powerful than simply pushing short-term, unmemorable promotions. The LEGO Blind Art Project is an amazing program. Helping blind children experience the world of fine art through LEGOs has led to amazing stories and content sharing. A brand “doing good” yields dividends, and those actions are paramount in the digital world.
Nearly everyone has been witness to an amazing Lego creation. Whether it was in the entire replica of a city at micro Lego size or massive life-size creations of our favorite movie characters, LEGO has instilled a culture obsessed with simple blocks by creating and using content to further their product as a media platform.
Advertising that last in perpetuity and creates this longevity and culture is also what skyrockets new products and services from specific brands to the top. Loved brands experience early and rapid adoption during new product launches. This is more powerful than any advertising campaign will ever be.
Evaluate your own brand’s marketing content. Are you building materials that will be valued in the future? Is your audience interested in seeing your content and sharing it with their inner circle? If you’re only focused on today’s click, your brand is nothing more than a promotion. Create for the dividends, and you will be experiencing success for decades.