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Facebook ad research shows branding is a key and often missing link




There are plenty of TV commercials out there that leave you wondering what the commercial is for. Are they selling a car? A phone plan? A pharmaceutical that will solve all of your problems in a single pill? Sometimes advertisers sacrifice branding for the sake of being hip and entertaining. Well, maybe they can afford to be mysterious, but you can’t.

When it comes to online advertising – and in this case – Facebook advertising, Brand Link is one of the keys to running a successful campaign.

Facebook ad pointsFacebook’s Marketing Science team asked 700 consumers from around the world to evaluate more than 1,500 news feed ads. Researchers Neha Bhargava and Eurry Kim ran a variety of tests to determine how well people responded to different ads and they came out of it with seven key creative elements.

  • Focal point : The image has one obvious focal point
  • Brand link : How easy is it to identify the advertiser?
  • Brand personality : How well does the ad fit with what you know about the brand?
  • Informational reward : Does the ad have interesting information?
  • Emotional reward : The ad appeals to you emotionally
  • Noticeability : While browsing online, this image would grab your attention
  • Call to action : This ad urges you to take a clear action

Under branding, there’s link and personality. Link is about that first look. When you look at the ad above, you know what the brand is even without reading the text. Personality is the tone that goes with your brand. Bud Light ads are quirky and fun. They want you to see their product and think “good times.” Somehow Geico, an insurance company also gets away with quirky and fun. That’s not what you’d expect from an insurance company but it’s what you’ve come to expect from that insurance company – so that’s their brand personality.

What’s yours? Don’t think you have to be cute and funny. As Bhargava says, an ad with a cute kitten will get lots of hits but it’s not going to bring in new customers – unless, of course, you’re selling cute kittens.

The Point: Whatever POV you choose, just make sure your brand messaging is clear and consistent.

Facebook ad points 2

I want to talk about one other key point: emotional reward.

Going back to Bud Light, the ad is clever so it makes you smile. That’s the emotional reward. The marketer reward is that the ad is likely to be shared with others. Another emotional reward is a feeling of connection. These are ads about family and friends and life experiences – ads that make you want to forward the message to your mom or call a friend and invite them out to dinner. It’s feel good in a different way – a way that can move you to tears but still make you want to buy the product. Think about ads for real estate (promoting family and home), cars (family safety or adventures with friends) and technology that helps you keep in touch.

Looking for specifics? Check out the full report from Facebook. It’s free.

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  • http://www.darrellmott.com Darrell

    Thanks for posting this and the link to the full report. I think it’s a really good point. Here in the UK I see a lot of ads that are sometimes arty for art’s sake.. You watch an advert and wonder who the brand is.. I see this a lot for cars.

    I think, particularly when you’re starting out, it’s imperative to follow these guidelines, you may be trying to establish a ‘brand personality’ or identity.. but at the expense of knowing who the brand is and what the call to action is? That’s not smart if you do.