adreactionThe variety of channels available to marketers has increased exponentially, we know from Kantar Millward Brown’s recent study AdReaction: The Art of Integration, and that ineffective multichannel strategies are jeopardizing the success of campaigns. More than 14,000 16-65-year-old have been surveyed between August and November 2017 in 45 countries (at least 300 per country) for the report, and media effectiveness learning came from new analysis of Kantar Millward Brown’s CrossMedia database among 223 campaigns which had been monitored during 2015-2017. Furthermore, creative learning came from campaign ad testing of 12 campaigns in eight countries and the new AdReaction consumer research was contrasted with results from Kantar Millward Brown’s September 2017 Getting Media Right study including views from over 300 leading marketers representing advertisers, agencies and media companies across the world.

AdReaction studies have been conducted since 2001, delivering insights on consumers' perceptions of advertising, particularly digital formats, and the latest research revealed the following:

  • Across APAC, 78% of consumers surveyed report that they are seeing more ads in a wider variety of places than they did three years ago. Consumers in India see the most substantial uplift (91%), followed by the Philippines (89%).
  • An increase in channels provides an array of new approaches for brands. Marketers across the region are confident in their ability to deliver campaigns across these multiplying channels, with 94% believing they deliver integrated campaigns.
  • Yet consumers across the region are split in their views on how well marketers are integrating their multichannel strategies. Most people in the Philippines (74%) and Vietnam (73%) agree that ads they see across channels such as TV, outdoor and digital ‘fit together well’. However, this contrasts with the experience of consumers in Korea (36%), Japan (35%) and Australia (48%) – more mature digital ecosystems – where less than half believe the campaigns they see are integrated.

Pablo Gomez, Head of Media & Digital, APAC for Kantar Millward Brown, says: “Consumers are exposed to more advertising than ever before, and are becoming more judgmental of what they see as a result. Importantly, the study showed that people react to advertising differently depending on the channel, and crucially, they are least receptive to ads on digital media. Marketers need to start thinking intelligently about how they integrate their campaigns – are they putting enough focus on customization, is their creative strong enough throughout, have they selected the right media mix -  so that they’re providing a holistic and enjoyable experience to the consumer.”

In fact, Kantar Millward Brown’s analysis of global campaigns within its media effectiveness database revealed that in contrast to the confident view of marketers, fewer than half (46%) of all campaigns tested in the study could be marked as well-integrated, suggesting that consumers’ views in developed markets are closer to reality than marketers’.

Integration across channels offers marketers the opportunity to boost campaign effectiveness, as the results from the study show that well-integrated and customized ad campaigns can improve overall campaign effectiveness by as much as 57%. This means that brands can get more impact from their investment. More than half of marketers are therefore missing out on the opportunity to substantially boost their activity.

What’s more, ineffective and disjointed advertising runs the risk of alienating consumers. Many surveyed in APAC said they were uncomfortable by this increase in advertising, with 61% agreeing that ads are more intrusive now. Indian consumers again feel most bombarded (81%) followed by New Zealand (76%) and the Philippines (72%). People in Japan (46%), Korea (48%) and Indonesia (48%) are the least bothered by intrusive ads, however the fact that more than half of the population sees advertising in a negative light should be a wakeup call for marketers.

Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director, Media & Digital, Kantar Millward Brown, explained: “Consumers feel overwhelmed by advertising from all angles while marketers struggle to make the most of ad formats and channels to best reach consumers, and the latest AdReaction report unveils a disconnect between how marketers and consumers perceive campaign success.”

“In AdReaction, we’ve laid out guiding principles to help marketers better integrate campaigns across channels and identified the key creative elements of successful campaigns as best practices”, he said, besides providing the following useful tips:

1. Integrate more campaign cues: Even without any customization, integrated campaigns are 31% more effective at building brands, yet still one in four of the campaigns analyzed were not well integrated. The more cues used, the better.  Consumers expect multichannel campaigns to deliver basic connective elements like the same logo and slogan. However, the study shows that consistent characters or personalities are the individual cues which most help brand impact, often differentiating the best campaigns. The report also found that all channels benefit from synergies, but some channels work particularly well with each other. The strongest overall synergy combinations are between TV and Facebook, and TV and outdoor.

2. Start with a strong campaign idea: The idea is the most important component of the campaign. Great campaigns need a strong central idea to act as connective tissue across all content, and integrated content needs to cue this idea. Campaigns with a strong central idea perform better across all brand KPIs (+64%), especially brand image associations (+91%), as well as across all channels.

3. Make each ad in an integrated campaign amazing: Within the multichannel pretesting, we see a campaign is defined most closely by the average of all executions, even more so than the best or worst individual execution. Unless media spend will be skewed towards one execution, every piece of content matters and contributes to overall success and brand building.

4. Invest only in channels that have a clear role in the campaign: Marketers need to choose channels wisely – only using those which have a clear role in the campaign and in reaching the target audience. It’s also important to understand what each channel can deliver in terms of impact and cost. For example, online ads are cost effective in extending TV reach and building brand metrics from awareness through to purchase intent. However, consumers’ attitudes are more positive to traditional media than online advertising and people are more likely to recall negative online targeting experiences than positive ones.

5. Customize content for each channel: There is a sweet spot between integration and customization. A strong integrated campaign must be flexible enough to enable novel, complementary content, but familiar enough to link the key campaign elements tightly together.

For more information, please feel free to review the global and country specific results of the AdReaction: The Art of Integration report.