Ads are encroaching on our lives more than ever before, with 78% of APAC consumers saying they are seeing ads in more places compared to three years ago—and 61% reporting that ads are getting more intrusive.
Kantar Millward Brown’s new global study on multichannel campaigns, titled AdReaction: The Art of Integration, also finds a major disconnect between the views of consumers and those of marketers when it comes to assessing the effectiveness of integrated campaigns.
While 94% of marketers in APAC said ads fitted well together in campaigns across desktop, mobile and TV, just 56% of consumers thought ads worked cohesively across all formats.
Opinions differ widely across the region, however, with consumers in more mature markets appearing markedly more critical: just 35% of Japanese and 36% of Korean consumers, for example, believe campaigns are well linked together, compared to 73% and 74% in Vietnam and the Philippines, respectively.
The study, which surveyed over 14,000 people in 45 countries, including 14 in APAC (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam) last year, points to the following key principles brands should remember when building integrated campaigns that consumers remember for the right reasons.
Use cues across the board
Cues are critical to boosting a campaign’s effectiveness, Kantar finds; particularly the consistent use of visual cues like logos and slogans. Globally, consumers agreed that the placement of a celebrity in a multi-channel campaign was the most helpful element to link content, followed by a hashtag, both ranking more highly than a brand’s own personality.
Certain channels should be integrated with particular care. While effective integration benefits all channels, TV is the format that consumers feel needs to fit best with other placements. The strongest overall synergy combinations, the report says, are between TV and Facebook, and TV and outdoor.
The ad below is part of a campaign by Budweiser in China featuring the singer Eason Chan, praised in Kantar's study as an example of strong integration for the multiple consistent elements it carried across outdoor, TV and online ads.
Keep the idea front of mind
Ranking campaigns with a strong central idea against those without, the study found that the former performed significantly better across all key performance indicators, with brand image association benefiting from a strong idea the most, followed by motivation and salience.
Channel your efforts
An ad’s reception depends heavily on channel and format, according to the survey, with APAC consumers ranking online advertising less positively than ads in traditional media like TV, cinema or outdoor.
Different markets have distinct preferences, however. In print-dominated India, for example, ads seen in newspapers met with the highest positive reception (80%), while online search, online display (on computers or phones) and video (on computers) ads scored a lukewarm response of 53% positivity, on average.
Consumers in more developed markets like Australia, New Zealand and Japan, meanwhile, ranked ads seen at the cinema above those in any other format.
Online ads engendered more negative than positive feelings overall. Of the ads they had seen in the past week, 31% of consumers said they had seen them too many times, 23% said they were not relevant and 14% commented that ad delivery “felt like stalking”. Consumers are more likely to remember these negative experiences, suggesting marketers should perhaps take time to put more effort into online ads.
Customise with care
Integrated campaigns are 31% more effective than those that aren’t, according to the research. But effectiveness can rise by another 26% when campaigns are customised, as well. Customisation is particularly important for online video campaigns, the study finds, although opinions differ on the specifics: 37% of consumers said brands should make online video ads shorter than TV ads, while 29% said brands should go for the same length with a different edit. Only 17% felt that online video content should be made edgier or riskier, however: Kantar finds that doing so can actually reduce a campaign’s effectiveness.