McDonald’s recently released a series of advertisements which are completely stripped of any branding, yet the brand is still instantly recognisable. The ads show a close up of the food but have no text, logo, or mention of McDonald’s.
McDonald’s is known to focus on food in its advertisements which, over time, has built strong mental connections between the food and the brand. This means that it can be recognised by its food alone.
This is similar to what Nike has done with the iconic Swoosh. Nike consistently used the Swoosh in every piece of brand communications over a long period of time, making it strongly associated with the brand. Now Nike can be recognised by the swoosh alone.
The best way to build distinctive brand assets is to create something that is unique and use it in all communications for as long as possible. Over time it will become strongly associated with your brand and act as a mental cue in a purchase occasion.
It is however risky to leave other brand assets out of your communications because over time they may deteriorate in peoples memories.
The research found that Budweiser’s ‘Lost Puppy’ ad had a 26% share of ad mentions online, however, “it achieved a poor score on personal relevance, thus failing to translate into memory – and ultimately value – for the brand”.
The article mentions that the product only features at the end of the ad and is barely noticeable.
Budweiser wasted their media budget and missed out on an opportunity to build brand salience.
Budweiser should have:
Introduced the brand as soon as possible
Included the brand as often as possible
Ensured the brand was big enough and clear enough for viewers to see
The NFL Super Bowl is the world’s most sought after advertising space, however, is it really worth the money?
In 2015 over 114 million people watched the Super Bowl making it the most viewed program on television in America. A 30 second ad spot during the Super Bowl costs around $4M or roughly $35 per thousand impressions.
There are no surprises that advertising during the Super Bowl is comparatively expensive, but is it really worth it?
The 2015 Super Bowl saw the likes of Budweiser, Nationwide, Microsoft, Mophie, Dove, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz flaunt their most impressive creativity. Unfortunately for these brands it was not worth the $4M, they wasted it on poorly branded advertisements.
If you want to get the biggest bang for your buck at the Super Bowl (or in any ad) it’s essential that you:
Introduce your brand as soon as possible
Include the brand as often as possible
Ensure the brand is big enough and clear enough for viewers to see
If you use a Hashtag make sure it’s directly linked to your brand
The bulk of the ads shown during the 2015 Super Bowl lacked clear branding. If you look at the videos below you will notice how the brand is not mentioned or seen until the last few seconds. If your brand is not blatantly obvious don’t expect consumers to remember you. People do not pay full attention to advertising, roughly 1/3 will actively avoid TV ads by doing things such as switching channels or leaving the room, 1/3 will passively avoid by doing things such as playing on their phones or chatting to friends, and 1/3 will actually watch the ads. This makes it vitally important to be highly branded so even people not paying full attention will still recognise your brand. No matter how funny, sad, or beautiful the ad is, people will forget what is being promoted unless it’s well branded.
Secondly NONE of the hashtags in the examples below are branded either. Look at the list of Hashtags and see if you can guess what brand they belong to from the ones mentioned above:
Everyday over 500 million tweets are sent on Twitter making it increasingly important for brands to standout amongst the clutter. Your brand must be easily identifiable from your hashtag, otherwise you are wasting your time and money with an unownable, unmemorable, and unbranded communications.
The Loctite ad was a great example of clear branding. They managed to mention their brand 8 times in a 30 second ad, introduce the brand in the first few seconds, and create a catchy and distinctive jingle (see below), however, they also used an unbranded hashtag #WinAtGlue.
In every ad make your brand the focus of any communication, reach as many people as you can, and make your brand famous.
Dove Men + Care: #RealStrength no branding till the last 10 seconds
Mercedes-Benz: #TeamHare #TeamTortoise not seen in the first 30 seconds
Mophie: #StayPowerful not mentioned till the last 3 seconds of a 1 minute ad
Budweiser: #BestBuds no branding till the last 4 seconds
Nationwide: No branding till the last 7 seconds
Even the boxes that hold call centre employee t-shirts have been designed with the single sense of purpose, that incredible design aesthetic, that attention to detail and outstanding vision of what the company should be – a creator brand. This, along with photos of their employee job offer packs, shows the level of thought and strength of culture at the firm.