Today’s Sunday NYT Times featured a story profiling how Facebook advertising gurus are constructing an ad campaign to sell fish oil for MegaRed, a neutraceutical brand that is trying to break through the clutter within a product category that is literally swimming with products; the best take away from that story can be found in a comment courtesy of FB VP Eric Schnabel: “Great words with an image attached to them are the purest form of expression.”
Adds Schnabel: Story lines that stretch across multiple ads (ad gurus call this strategy “short-form narratives”), spread out over days or weeks, could also be very effective. “We try to make them more like ‘Law and Order’ than ‘Game of Thrones,’ ” Mr. Schnabel said. “You don’t need to see every episode in order for it to make sense.” But don’t overdo it, he warned. Ads that pop up too frequently feel like spam. Facebook itself generally aims to show one ad for every 20 items in a person’s news feed, although users who like or comment frequently on ads might see more.
In due respect to above-noted young turk, we don’t suggest that Schanbel has hit on new concept within the context of using images, he is simply regurgitating what every brand advocate should know; wisdom that we’ve espoused in this blog more than a few times during the past 8 years. That’s right, we’ve been evangelizing this notion for more than 15 minutes; most recently in our July 10 “blog post”.
To illustrate this simple observation with just one example, in 2009, while representing a consumer product company that sought to create awareness about hand hygiene and their alcohol-free hand sanitizer, we ran the adjacent photo image in a Google ad campaign..During the first 36 hours, the ad inspired 10,000 (that’s right, Ten Thousand) click thru’s, converting into more than 1000 orders for the company’s products.
Yes, we do push the envelope when advocating clients’ brand messages. We also pound clients’ tables (and every so often, we’ve had to ceremoniously knock their heads against a wall) to drive home this critical approach to branding in a world where images have become the greatest influencers. How/why else can one explain the success of Pinterest, Instagram and of course, Facebook (among others)? How else can one explain the dramatic shift by brand marketers to mobile device advertising, a format that only “sticks” when images are the primary element?
Because it works.
And before signing off to sun on the beach on this sunny day, this update wouldn’t be complete without making reference to the use of infographics–an approach that uses minimal words within a message dominated by a visual element. We touched on this topic in the July 10 post, but we’re compelled to grab it and shake it some more, this time with a shout out to infogr.am, one of several online sites that help marketers create a variety of informative presentations that leverage the impact of images.
Real Branding: Pictures Tell 1000 Words; Infographics 101; FB Selling Fish Oil