IAB UK created a ‘Chief Digital Cheerleader’ for their first brand building campaign

IAB UK created a ‘Chief Digital Cheerleader’ for their first brand building campaign

On the face of it, digital advertising doesn’t struggle to get media budgets. So why does its trade body need to launch a brand campaign to get advertisers and marketers to reevaluate it?

IAB UK today launched a campaign to “rediscover the joy of digital advertising”, and in particular to shift perception from the idea that digital is purely efficient, rational and easy to justify.

The ads feature an eight-foot-tall teddy bear named Joy, who has been revealed as the IAB team’s “newest employee” with the title of “Chief Digital Cheerleader.” She has her own LinkedIn profile, and will chair the Joy Awards at the end of November to help advertisers “think differently about digital”.

No romance for digital channels

Talking to Media leader Ahead of the campaign’s launch, James Chandler, IAB’s UK marketing director, admitted that the idea of ​​the campaign raised questions among members when it was first proposed.

Chandler said: Double-digit growth is great and digital has grown. Yes, the money is not distributed equally, but when you look at it compared to the latest numbers seen on TV or print, digital looks really healthy. But we had this concern: Is this sustainable? Will this always happen?

“Our hypothesis was: It’s great that the money is coming in, but do advertisers really like it in the same way that they remember TV or the best ads ever, like a Guinness ad or something?

“The way (advertisers) love magazines and the way they talk romantically about cinema advertisements; No one talks about affiliate marketing or research or anything like that. Perhaps the closest we’ve come is podcasts.

Chandler theorized that if advertisers didn’t truly have an “emotional connection” with digital advertising, it would be seen as “clunky and overly effective” and perhaps not sustainable, especially over the long term.

“In the long run, the things that really stick with you are if you relate to them in some way. I felt cold against the way people talk about TV and radio and print. There are a lot of old-fashioned reasons why people feel that way about them, but our feeling was: Can we We make it sustainable by how people feel about it, rather than by the numbers coming in? And in a weird way, growth beyond 10% hides the problem for us, and that was the part we needed to get rid of.

Futility and discomfort

The IAB commissioned Walnut Unlimited to conduct research into the matter by conducting qualitative interviews with senior marketers, surveying more than 400 agencies and brands, and conducting a semiotic analysis of industry feedback.

The research identified two specific reasons why advertisers and marketers ‘don’t like’ digital technology, helping the UK’s IAB identify how to change it in the long term.

Chandler described these feelings as being related to feelings of “futility” and “anxiety.” Marketers felt there was no human agency, creativity was “too hard” in the digital space and decisions were made by algorithms and big tech players. Meanwhile, there was “mistrust” around the big tech duopoly, and the perception of digital was “a bit of a black box”.

Additionally, the high speed of change with new innovations such as artificial intelligence and retail media has been “scary” rather than “exciting” for advertisers focused on boosting quarterly sales.

This paid campaign will continue into next year, but Joey Bear will now appear in “everything we do,” including events and communications, Chandler said.

He commented: “What I really wanted for IAB as a company, like the plight of CMOs everywhere, is that we can’t run this campaign and think we’ve hit the mark. This is real behavioral change. We want to change perceptions. We’re in this for three or four years.” at least.

Media agency December 19 planned and bought the media, while advertising agency Now created the ad.

(Tags for translation)Advertising

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