This post by Scott on Search ads vs Brand ads that comments on (and takes quite a bit further) this FT piece on the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival has been sitting on a tab since early this morning. I’ve even followed a great email conversation on it between fellow Performancing folks Chris and Patrick, and now, I’d like to bring it to you. If you’ve not read it, do.
Search ads, or more precisely, text ads do NOT build brands, or at least so the argument runs. For what it’s worth, I agree, it’s somewhat of a no brainer right? What made this particulary interesting was the excellent example of Prada image ad vs generic “get cheap perfume” text ad,.
Ideally, a combination of text and images is needed to build brands and work for good CTR, and although there are some offerings out there (namely Henry Copelands BlogAds) and some Google units (those are not Search ads by the way, they’re just provided by Search engines. There’s a big difference), I think there’s room for something that better addresses both the need for large companies/brands to advertise and build their brand AND for targeted traffic building.
Im hoping I’ll be able to show you what I mean shortly…
Read the post to get the pretty pictures of course, but for those with attention spans even shorter than mine, here’s a key quote:
There is only ONE reason why anyone would click on the Prada Perfume text ad â€” the Prada brand. And how did Prada build that brand? Through compelling IMAGES.
and here’s Chris on why blogs could play a key part in branding:
We used to discuss this quite a lot in the agencies. The theory goes that direct marketing can be just as effective if not more so than what is considered “broadcast” or mass-advertising but that is sending stuff to highly targeted audiences, while search is a highly targeted audience they are not being sent stuff they happen to see stuff while looking for something; ie. They were already looking. What makes them look in the
first place? What puts that thought into their head? I would argue that blogs, and therefore blog advertising, are perfectly placed to “put the thought into their head”.
Now, if we can just get the best of both worlds…
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More and more corporations are adressing the fact that blogging is enormously important to building brands online.
Blogs offer a chance for you to show your face to the public. That can make a company much more accessible.
Don’t mix marketing and advertising. Marketing closes the gap between clients and product. The meaning of marketing is to bring the product to the client. Advertising is making people aware of a fuzzy cloud around the product. Selling a product is not necessarily the center of attention for advertising but blowing up the meaning of the product or the company.
Text ads are great for marketing. Images, more widely spoken multi-media ads, are great for building an impression. This way said, a blog containing ads is a very good chance to bring very targeted clients to the next shop. In military language a good contextual blog ad is a sniper.
Blogs in general have the problem that most blogs limit themselves by choosing a very targeted niche. This way competition grows and revenue from ads have to be shared between all blogs from one niche.
Marketers often set goal of branding as one of the main reason they do a paid search campaign. While usually they can’t measure the effect of branding from paid search, at least if they do it right, they can have more branding opportunities later. Think about newsletter subscription.
People don’t always assign image to a brand. A lot of time we know some brands through their names, but we don’t even recognize the logos or memes assigned to them.
May be we should not try to accomplish a bunch of things at a time. Doing text based advertising is about creative use of writing and exposing a name. You can always use the content network to advertise using image, Flash or even video formats.
Nick, your ad network… is she a go-er? Eh, eh? A nudge is as good as a wink to a blind man. Say wot? Know what I mean?
[with apologies to the Monty Python crew]
Guess we know something of what to expect.