[PRESS OFFICE] Media Reactions, the new Kantar ad equity study, combines the breadth of the former AdReaction and Getting Media Right surveys to celebrate the media environments where great ads thrive in this ever-changing world, from both a marketer and consumer perspective – with over 4 000 consumers and over 700 senior marketers surveyed.
The results serve to complement established measurement tools with a deeper understanding of what people really think of today’s media platforms, especially with the media increasingly seen as the message, and how that in turn flavours how that message is received.
Media investment decisions are not straightforward
In Kantar’s #Dimension2020: Media and Me study Alejandro Betancourt, Latam Brand Director of P&G spoke of the need to respect the consumer to avoid creating an annoying ad experience, while Micaela Lopez-Parma, Regional Media Lead at Colgate-Palmolive added that marketers need their advertising to appear in a trusted medium or consumers simply won’t trust the message.
In this overall context of trust, there are three specific divides advertisers and marketers need to address for true media effectiveness:
The online-offline divide
Dissecting different advertising environments, the inaugural global ad equity channel ranking places cinema as the top advertising environment, because cinema ads are generally seen as fun, entertaining and better quality, effectively avoiding the pitfalls of other ad formats such as being seen as repetitive, intrusive and saturated.
Cinema’s success in this regard presents a learning opportunity for in-home cousin TV to reduce frequency, so as to not be the ad that annoys the consumer. The same holds true for online and social ads, which also easily become repetitive. Podcasts and streaming on-demand TV tend to be less ad-cluttered and therefore less intrusive, which is a plus for consumers but serves as a possible holding block for marketers.
Despite these differences there are complementary strengths to note, as digital platforms tend to enjoy higher ad equity as they’re seen as more fun and innovative. Looking specifically at the leading digital media brands, Media Reactions reveals TikTok in the leading spot despite other platforms offering greater scale, as TikTok users feel the ads they see are more innovative, fun and entertaining, with less saturation and targeting concerns. Download our interactive Power of TikTok report for further insights.
The consumer-marketer divide
Taking the digital media aspect a step further, it’s interesting to note differences and similarities in marketers’ and consumers’ perceptions of the most popular digital advertising formats. Seeing really is believing as online video ads come first, followed by TV ads and social media newsfeeds, streaming TV and social media stories.
Marketers obviously want to maximise reach and impact with these more intrusive media platforms, while consumers want an uninterrupted viewing experience.
Touching on the trust issue, marketers have more trust in online video and less in TV, with half of advertisers, a just a third of agencies and media owners putting their trust in social media stories. We see another discrepancy when it comes to innovation – marketers see podcasts and streaming as the most innovative platforms while for consumers it’s still more about the creative than the format, so TV tends to remain a top choice.
With businesses moving into recession mode as figures go down and concerns of the future rise, it’s clearly time to reassess media decisions. The pandemic accelerated the focus on brand purpose and digital transformation, with 60% of the industry reducing marketing spend, though digital and spend is expected to rebound while print and OOH and cinema spend decrease into 2021:
*Red = decrease, green = increase, orange = neutral
Beyond media spend choices, 96% of marketers think COVID-19 will have long-term strategic implications, with greater focus on campaign effectiveness and willingness to try something new meaning greater reliance on digital media for that built-in flexibility.
There’s similar thinking in South Africa when it comes to going beyond short-term budget reallocation for the expected impact of COVID-19 to have any long-lasting effect on how businesses approach media and advertising investment:
There’s no denying that brand equity matters for media brands. You can’t create a passionate long-term audience without meaningful difference, with the added benefit that consumers are more forgiving of the brand if it’s built that equity over time. Looking at the global ranking, we see that Google has highest equity, followed by Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Instagram.
For South African marketers, YouTube and Instagram are rated most highly across social and digital platforms:
But for South African consumers, the picture changes:
For most media brands it’s tough to be popular everywhere. Netflix is an exception to this rule as there’s huge consumer passion for the content and the fact that the platform doesn’t carry advertising.
The brand equity-ad equity divide
Looking at how brand equity then correlates to ad equity, popular brands are more likely to be popular ad environments but not all media brands successfully translate this, as consumers can see this as excessive, or even inappropriate monetisation that undermines media brands. Others have good ad equity but haven’t yet established brand loyalty, like TikTok and Snapchat.
That’s where brand personality comes in. Advertisers want to invest in media brands that reflect their own aspirations for the brand and their creative work. For example, Amazon is seen as in control, straightforward, desirable, trustworthy and assertive while Snapchat is seen as fun, playful, sexy, creative and friendly. YouTube is fun and creative, Hulu is fun and desirable, but there are also regional differences to consider, as Twitter is seen as rebellious in France but innocent in Germany while Facebook is seen as fun in Brazil and assertive in Germany. These characteristics are likely to flavour the ad response.
So, take inspiration from the best-in-class channels and be mindful of the trade-off of relevance and frequency or intrusiveness, as these will affect receptivity. Get the balance right in entertaining and being relevant without excessive targeting as now’s the time to speed up innovation and focus more than ever on effectiveness and cost-efficiency – invest in the media environments that best reflect your brand aspirations.
To find out more about these insights for South Africa, chat to Monique Claassen, Head of Media & Digital, Insights Division, Kantar on email@example.com.