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Growing tech range gives digital adspend a boost

Growing tech range gives digital adspend a boost

The rise of new in-home technologies among German households is providing a boost to the advertising sector, with brand investment in digital marketing options accounting for almost all of the rise in total spend expected this year.

Around 9 percent of German internet users now have some kind of “connected home” device, such as Google Home or an Amazon smart speaker. These smart audio devices – as well as new targeting possibilities linked to in-car media, and the rise of streaming services for music and podcasts – means digital audio advertising is ripe for growth, especially among advertisers targeting a youth audience.

Digital advertising is forecast by GroupM to see a 5 percent rise in 2020, following a 6 percent increase in 2019; this contrasts with an increase in total advertising spend for this year of 1.2 percent. It also shows that the dust has settled around the implications for businesses advertising online of GDPR privacy regulation, introduced in 2018.

Consumer and regulator concerns around privacy remain high, putting the onus on brands to be transparent about how data is collected and used. At the same time, brands are mindful of the potential risks involved in using digital platforms, especially when space is increasingly being bought programmatically, so are attentive to the need to be visible only in appropriate online contexts.

Television remains the medium with the highest daily reach in Germany, so is still brands’ preferred way of reaching large audiences, and with addressable TV advertising now a reality, brands can achieve mass coverage as well as take a more targeted approach.

As in most markets, print is falling in popularity among consumers and, as a result, among advertisers, but its declines in Germany are more modest than in many other markets. Newspapers and magazines have been losing advertising investment at the rate of about 3 percent in Germany, but not all titles are suffering to the same extent. In fact, the number of magazines available is actually increasing, particularly those in the luxury sector and those catering to niche interests, proving that print still works for those brands with clear positioning and targeting.

Out of home advertising is perhaps the surprise star performer of German media, posting annual growth of 3 percent a year. Static billboards remain popular due to the high mobility of German consumers, and the growing number of options available through digital out of home sites is bringing in new money. Programmatic buying of OOH locations gives brands greater flexibility than ever before.

Cutting through in a crowded market

Campaigns that tell emotion-driven stories are those that give brands more bang for their buck. And when brands tell an emotional tale that links with a genuine mission or purpose then the effect is even bigger. Kantar analysis of around 300 advertisements by brands that have a purpose that’s relevant to what the brand does shows that emotion used in connection with purpose makes an advertisement more persuasive, credible and enjoyable than brand communications that have purpose, but that makes a weak emotional connection. Showing, not telling, is critical to landing the message and building support.

Big ideas are always in fashion

Smart brands combine a strong consumer insight, an authentic brand purpose and a product benefit for a big, strong creative idea that permeates their communications across all platforms.

To determine whether an idea is BIG, ask the following questions:

  • Does it resonate, and spark emotions?
  • Will it grab the audience’s attention?
  • Will it change consumers’ minds in the brand’s favour?
  • Will the audience advocate it?
  • Will it be distinctive?
  • Will it stand the test of time?

And then ask, is it the RIGHT big idea for the brand?

  • Does the brand response resonate with consumers?
  • Is it an effective response to a key consumer insight?
  • Can the idea be “owned” by the brand?
  • Does it bring the brand’s goals to life?
  • Does the brand have a strong role within the big idea?

Hitting the nail on the head: Hornbach

The home improvement retailer Hornbach creates a big impact by consistently drawing on one big idea, but expressing it in new and different ways with each new campaign.

The brand focuses on the ever-present need to make improvements and repairs, linked with the pleasure and pride in doing a physical job and doing it well.

Campaigns tend not to highlight individual products or ranges at all; rather, they focus on images of individual consumers and present motivational messages. “Only you know how it feels” was one; “Hours in front of a computer? Sweat it out” was another.

The “Dive into Life” campaign took that message a step further – and, on the face of it, further away from the business of selling DIY equipment. It reminds people: “You’re alive!”, in a campaign that was instantly recognizable as Hornbach wherever it appeared, and that might not have promoted the latest tiles or fencing, but made a clear link between consumers and what the brand could bring them.