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how to develop an advertising campaign? recommendations from icu agency

Unfortunately, the market is overcrowded. And when all brands shout in their advertising campaigns "look at me!", it turns into background noise.

Whatever you sell - fresh buns, legal services, or real estate in an elite quarter, advertising and positioning will have a decisive influence on customers. According to the generally accepted opinion, everything depends on the product. But in the end, when you have beaten all your competitors in the quality of buns, legal services, and apartments, your real profit will depend on how you present yourself in advertising.

When Apple launched their iPod player on the market, they didn't advertise the 5GB of memory or other technical specs like everyone else did. And yet the iPod wasn't the first or even the best player on the market. Attention, question: Do you remember any other such high-quality and successful analog?

It's all because Apple came up with the advertising campaign "1000 songs in your pocket" instead of incomprehensible technical descriptions. They knew how to get into the heads of their audience because they studied what to advertise, how, and by what means. Usually, different agencies offer different approaches to creating an advertising campaign. Let's figure out which one will suit you.

What are the approaches?

Before choosing a path to create an advertising campaign, we need to start from what its goal is:

Here begins the battle of the titans: some create an advertising campaign based on research, others rely on creativity, and still others focus on promotion.

From this, the 4 most common approaches to advertising are derived:

If you decided to create a communication platform

This will mean that you have decided to work for a long time and choose a comprehensive and deep path to determine the development of communication for a long period of time or to work with changing or strengthening consumer perception.

Usually, you need this when:

  • - you want to convey brand positioning to the audience and work on the image
  • - there are many brand products/services and it is necessary to think about how the communication of goods will develop in the long term perspective

You will not create an advertising campaign as a result of this comprehensive research, but you will build a foundation for all your campaigns for several years to come.

We recommend developing a communication platform when:

  • - you have a large and not new brand
  • - you want to work systematically with advertising and establish yourself in the perception of the audience
  • - many of your communication messages have already worked and you want to develop something new without rebranding
  • - you need to adjust communication in accordance with market and audience realities.

Starbucks developed its communication platform and brought out the brand message, which has been used in their advertising campaigns in one form or another for several years now: "Everyday Moments of Pleasure".

If you decide to develop a communication strategy

This means that it is important for you to establish contact with the audience in order to understand how to interact with a specific segment of the target market and lead it to target actions.

This path should be chosen if:

  • - you need to form communication for a specific product for a specific audience
  • - to develop 1 advertising campaign for a large number of channels and a long period

In practice, this approach is research for a specific task of an advertising campaign and the development of a creative concept with promotion mechanics, but not an advertising campaign itself that has not yet been launched.

We recommend developing a communication strategy to create an advertising campaign that aligns with your goals and audience's needs, rather than relying solely on what marketers and creators think is creative and interesting.

Starbucks emphasizes an individual approach in their communication strategy, such as personalizing coffee cups with customer names. This idea is reflected in many advertising campaigns, such as the "It starts with you" campaign.

If you decide to create a creative concept

We choose this approach when the client has no time for extensive research and already has an answer to the question of "what to say to the audience?". In this case, the research focuses solely on creatives, several concepts are developed, and the client-provided audience data is used for development without additional research.

Choose this approach if:

  • — you want to launch a situational advertising campaign
  • — you need to adapt a communication message developed by the head office for representation in your country

As a result, you will receive only a creative concept with ideas for mechanics, but there is no worked-out promotion block.

We recommend choosing this service if you cannot change the direction and message of communication, and the audience is tired of how it is currently being conveyed, but you are confident in your communication direction: what, to whom, and where to speak.

Starbucks spends a lot of time and money on creating situational advertising campaigns. For example, for advertising limited edition drinks such as the "Unicorn" Frappuccino or seasonal pumpkin spice latte.

If you decide to create advertising creatives in a specific channel

In this case, the development of specific advertising creatives for a small task is assumed. This can be a separate service if it is necessary to quickly update visuals for a specific channel.

Choose this approach to:

  • — scale the creative concept to a new channel
  • — come up with a short situational creative
  • — update creatives within an already launched advertising campaign

As a result, you will only have to launch an advertising campaign, as there is no research here, only immersion, and the creative is not scalable to other channels.

We recommend applying this approach to creating advertising campaigns only when you need to supplement it within a ready-made creative concept. If this approach is used to create full-fledged advertising campaigns, it leads to the brand's perception being diluted, and the consumer gets lost among different creatives that do not support each other.

For social networks in Russia and abroad, Starbucks uses different creatives. Such a difference may be due to the fact that in Russia, the brand uses selling content in its accounts, aimed at attracting consumers to coffee shops, while abroad, mainly image content associated with brand recognition.

What do you ideally need?

A communication platform for the entire brand, a communication strategy for a specific product and audience, which is situational, if necessary, supplemented with new creative reflections of the thoughts that are laid down in communication.

What is in reality? Each of the approaches has a place to be by itself, but only for its tasks.

As a communication agency, we specialize in communication research, strategies, and creative concepts, so our experience allows us to say that the conversation that takes place in the head of a mother on maternity leave or a businessman in the eternal race for success is different, although both can be your target audience. Use the approach to creating your advertising that will help you achieve your goals, engage in a mental dialogue with your potential customers, and convey your idea to them in the shortest, clearest, and most distinctive way possible. Then your advertising campaign can be called successful.

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