Advertising effectiveness: the power of emotional brand building

Paige Murphy
By Paige Murphy | 26 September 2019

Emotional campaigns are stronger for brands over the long-term, as revealed in the first Australian Advertising Effectiveness Rules report.

Emotional campaigns are more effective at impacting long term market share growth and longer-term brand metrics related to memory structures.

Rational persuasion campaigns work effectively in the short term due to their ability to acquire new customers.

The report uses 2019 Gold Effie winner NRMA Insurance's 'Help' campaign as a case study which showcases the power of shifting from rational product and retail focused executions to an emotional brand building approach.

In 2018, NRMA switched its entire marketing approach from product and retail to pure branding.

The insurer brought back its famous 'Help' branding which ended up delivering significant business impact, grew its customer acquisition and reversed eight years of decline.

Media spend was at its lowest level since 2013 and the insurer had a negative "excess share of voice" (ESOV) versus aggressively spending competitors.

Re-introducing 'Help' delivered strong effects to the brand's memory structure and driving response metrics which are critical to growth including website visits and completed quotes.

The NRMA's paper for the Effies argued that the Help campaign is a great example of igniting the emotional power of a brand through connecting on a deeper, more empathetic level.

Australia has become the second nation after the UK to release an effectiveness study into advertising.

The report, which was released by The Communications Council and co-authored by advertising effectiveness luminaries Rob Brittain and Peter Field, compiled data from 143 campaigns submitted in the 2018 and 2019 Effies.

It revealed four key findings that led to more effective campaigns: broad targetting, longer duration campaigns, longer campaign evaluation periods reveal stronger campaign effects and emotional campaigns are stronger overall compared to rational work.

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