As advertisers and agencies across the world grapple with the challenge of reaching out to consumers in a cluttered world, visual messaging has emerged as a clear winner to grab their attention. Given that the brain is wired to register and remember visual messages and cues faster and more effectively than written messages, using them in advertising
works, said Laura Ries, daughter of marketing guru Al Ries and one of the star speakers at Goafest on Saturday.
Ries said that effective communication starts with positioning the brand
appropriately, something that many advertisers continue to grapple with. “Positioning starts with identifying a hole in the receiver’s mind and then working towards filling it. So if the hole or gap is expensive coffee, Starbucks fills it. If the gap is energy drink, Redbull came in and filled it,” she said.
How have these brands done it? By using visual aides. These visual cues or visual hammers can come in the form of shapes (value retailer Target’s blue dotted logo), colour (the bright yellow of McDonald’s arches in its logo), uniqueness of the product (the metal watchstrap pioneered by Rolex in its ads), packaging (Redbull’s can size), action (packaged juice brand
Tropicana’s use of the picture of a straw through an orange to indicate freshness and no use of preservative in the product), founder (KFC’s use of the image of founder Colonel Sanders in its logo and communication), using a star (finding an endorser who can be used to communicate through visuals), symbol (such as Nike’s swoosh or tick and Mercedes’ tri-star) and animals (the Twitter bird).
She warned that while there are different tools at the brand
managers’ disposal to achieve positioning through visual communication, a brand
must be careful not to try and be everything to everybody. “Focus on one point and use visual hammering to drive it home,” she said to a packed audience.
Juhi Kalia, head of Facebook Creative Shop, agreed that visuals have a deeper, more long lasting impact o the consumers’ psyche and must be exploited to achieve the communication goal for a brand.
However, the rules of traditional media may not apply verbatim to social media. As digital and social media becomes more prevalent in the communication mix, brands need to be present where the audience is and in a form that excites and intrigues them, she said.
“Content consumption is no longer linear and now can be customised. So a brand
can use multiple tools on social media platforms to create an interest and even drive sales in some case. With mobile viewing on the rise, consumption patterns change according to the time of the day, and the activity the user is involved in. So it is important to optimise the creative to mobile. Further, it needs to be opitmised to eye movement while consuming content on mobile, optimised to be interactive and interesting,” she added.
Kalia cited the example of the Tommy Hilfiger fashion show on Facebook recently. While users around the world got to see the show in real-time through Facebook Live, they could interact with the property through a chat bot that discussed the collection and the show. Lastly, they created a shoppable video, through which consumers could buy products from the collection in real-time too.
Eric Cruz, executive creative director at US-based digital agency AKQA, which has operations across the world including India, said that while there may be many variables in the present to decode the future of communication, brands have data to help them do that.
Final day at a glance
Working with the best
Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant marked his presence on day three of Goafest with a rousing speech on branding India and its destinations. As creator of campaigns such as ‘Incredible India’ and ‘Make in India’, Kant, also a recipient of the Champions of Excellence at Goafest, said he has always worked with the best as agencies. “I have never compromised on that. We have the best talent here,” he said.
Red stands for Trump
What is Donald Trump’s visual hammer? His red cap, declared Laura Ries, daughter of marketing guru Al Ries, who co-authored the book ‘Positioning: The Battle for the Mind’ in 1981. Al Ries’ philosophy still holds true today, said his daughter in a session on Saturday. In Trump’s case, his red cap, helped him win the presidential election. How? It was a trucker’s hat, Ries said, indicating that he was focused on the American working-class population. They helped him sail through, she added.
Youngest TED speaker on stage
She’s your typical girl-next-door when you meet 11-year-old Ishita Katyal, but hand her a mike and she will surprise you. Katyal is India’s youngest TED speaker and she was at Goafest on Saturday speaking on a child’s perspective on creativity. “Why are we discouraged to ask questions? We are the children of the future and if you want us to build a beautiful world, give us the answers to the questions we ask,” she said. Interesting.
Dangal sisters at Goafest
Wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat were at Goafest, too, on day three. In a session moderated by TV personality and actor Mandira Bedi, they revealed stories and secrets from their journey so far. The sisters credited their coach and father for their success. “From 26 kg at 13 to becoming world champions today, we have tasted success because of dad. Just like it is shown in the movie, we used to cheat a lot. But he was our father. He would always trump us,” they said.