I want you to watch a commercial.
Months ago my fellow blog-contributor saw it as a Creativity Pick of the Day on AdAge and shared it. The commercial was so good it still sticks with me today.
On the afternoon I saw it for the first time I was enchanted. I loved it.
So I sent the link to my wife. She watched it, cried, and then watched it again. Then she sent it to her mom.
The story of how my mother-in-law got to watch a P&G ad is not unlike the story of any other brand marketing, where all too often a brand’s compelling content doesn’t get the eyes it deserves. The content plays its role in the media plan or gets dropped on to a website -- two perfectly wonderful outcomes -- but that’s where it ends.
As companies, we love our web pages and our TV spots, but the reality is that audiences don’t usually have a reason to visit a brand’s website. If they missed or TiVoed past a commercial, it’s unlikely they’ll ever encounter it in the wild.
Paid media publishing is changing all this.
Display ads aren't the static files they used to be. They are content containers that can be updated instantly. Ads have basically become mini-websites, running anywhere on the web where ads are sold and where you can instantly publish brand marketing to them as easily as you can post to social media.
So the reach of great content is no longer limited by the traffic to a brand’s websites and earned media. At any moment your content can be all over the web, and all over the sites where your audience spends the majority of their time.
Most people spend most of their time online in content consumption mode, soaking up entertainment from their favorite sites and from their friends. That's why study after study shows interactive and content-rich ads vastly outperform static ads. They're what audiences are in the mood for.
It’s time to fundamentally rethink what display ads can be. We must move beyond thinking of ads as just messaging, but rather think of them as a scalable content delivery system and as an extension of our websites and social media.