Four ways to entertain your digital audience through advertising

We catch up on industry news as we wait for a morning train. We look forward to diving into a favourite magazine or TV show when we catch a plane. We send tweets or Facebook updates queuing for our morning coffee. With the world of digital technology exploding, we’re not only keeping ourselves entertained at all times, we’ve come to expect it. And the technology is enabling us to: you can watch TV everywhere, listen to any type of music, play games and see videos whenever and wherever you want with the right device in your pocket.

Successful advertisers are taking notice and creating ads that entertain their audience while informing them about their product. They know that entertaining ads result in higher user interactions, better retention and better brand association. Plus, those ads fall in line with the trend of entertainment everywhere – even where you least expect it.

There are a few tried and true methods for making your ads more entertaining:

1. Add a game. Ads and campaigns with games consistently have the highest interaction rates, plus it’s a great way to build a relationship with consumers that is based on fun. Arnold Furnace did a great job for Thetruth.com, which features an entire suite of games that have also been used in online ads. The games do a great job of making some very serious points while still being engaging and fun.

2. Make it funny. Euro RCSG’s creation of Dos Equis’ ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ has been a runaway success, resulting in internet memes, multiple awards and a 20-30% increase in sales every reporting period. Consumers actually turn up the radio when one of these ads comes on – what better way to get buyers to pay attention to your brand?

3. Tell an interactive story. The Life of Julia at BarackObama.com has been covered by every major news outlet and spawned multiple online spin offs because it connects political policy to everyday life in a new and entertaining way. Users are walked through a woman’s life from cradle to old age discovering more of how her life is affected by political issues along the way. More importantly, the user’s interaction is required to move the story forward, keeping them engaged throughout the experience.

4. Reward the user. Give them points for interacting with your ad or let them rack up a big score or unlock hidden content as Tribal DDB Australia and OMD Sydney did in its successful McDonald’s ‘Take the Loose Change Challenge’ ad where users shook a couch to find coins.

No matter what you’re selling, there’s no reason for it to bore the audience. Engage in an effort to entertain them, and they’ll engage with your brand in return.

This article was co-authored by Andrea Bridges-Smith of MediaMind.

Carolyn Bollaci
BY Carolyn Bollaci ON 27 August 2012
Regional vice president, Australia & New Zealand, Sizmek