Banbury Howard

Carry on advertising

There have been plenty of articles in the media recently suggesting that traditional advertising is dead. But how can this be? The big brands that were so prevalent in our childhood, and still lead where others follow today, didn’t get to where they are with the help of a few Facebook likes. They were built on much firmer foundations. These big brands were born out of big advertising campaigns.

Of course, it would be extremely naïve to believe that the advertising landscape is comparable to that of even ten years ago, let alone 20 or 30, but to suggest that traditional, above-the-line advertising is dead is, surely, equally naïve.

For many brands, an online profile can be sufficient, but to win over the hearts and minds of consumers and make your brand a valued member of their family home requires a greater use of engaging and emotive imagery and sound. A deep-rooted fondness towards brands and products is created through empathy and association. Of course, this can be created through positive user experiences, but creating a strong emotional bond with a brand before purchase has even taken place is a truly special achievement.

Think back to the ads from over the years that still stick in your mind – Coca Cola, of course, Guinness, Smash, Nescafe Gold Blend perhaps? The clever way in which these advertising campaigns engaged us so heavily in the brand means that 30 years on we are still capable of regaling and re-enacting these memorable stories. We have grown up with them and this familiarity has made them our ‘friends’ – an association that is music to a brand owner’s ears.

The grand campaigns and stunning cinematographic films created by Guinness transformed an entire industry. Think of all we associate with Guinness, such as rugby and St Patrick’s Day, how widely drunk it is all over the world and how admired the brand is. And now consider how it was achieved – through impactful integrated advertising.

As one will appreciate, digital advertising plays a vital role in today’s media saturated, always-on society, yet traditional above-the-line advertising should not be dismissed. Integrated with other channels, of course, it provides amazing opportunities for brands to break through the ‘noise’ to truly reach hearts and minds and remain there for decades to come.