Insights

The evolution of content in the always on era

28th Maio 2019
Photo by Ezra Comeau-Jeffrey on Unsplash

With Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity coming up soon, we’re looking at some of the themes that will be discussed at this year’s festival. In this article, we’re discussing the evolution of content and the new audiences created through the always on era.

In the digital age, advertising content has undergone a major change – in how it’s created, how it’s speaking to new audiences and in how it’s creating values-based propositions that serve a higher purpose as well as the bottom line.

New ways of creating content

 Traditionally, advertising content was created with a campaign mindset. The product’s USP, combined with a single creative idea, combined with market and target audience intelligence would be parcelled up into a defined package. The campaign would launch, run its course and then it would end; statement (hopefully) made. However, the digital revolution and the ‘always on’ world we live in today has changed all that.

Now, we are all connected, plugged into culture at all times. No longer do advertisers need to wait for consumers to pick up a newspaper, switch on the TV or look at a billboard. They can reach them pretty much anywhere and at anytime.

It’s the ‘anytime’ that’s the key here. Today, creating a crafted message to a fixed audience who don’t talk back isn’t the way it works. Consumers don’t switch off, so if brands want to retain relevance they need to stay switched on too. What began as an opportunity for brands to reach audiences whenever they wanted has now transformed into an expectation from consumers to be engaged in an ongoing dialogue on their terms. The relationship between brands and audiences has dramatically changed.

The peaks and troughs of campaigns have made way for conversations where ad content needs to be engaging, relevant and accessible. This demands an agile and flexible approach to content creation (for more on this see our recent article on Creating content at the speed of culture [LINK]). Advertisers are seeking to create an experience that their consumers can share and connect with.

New market segments

The digital-led data we can derive about our audiences means that content can be customised and personalised to a degree that would have been unimaginable not too long ago. The amount of information that brands can discern from consumer digital interactions gives them instant access to highly specific knowledge on product and purchasing preferences.

With this they can build and refine consumer profiles, develop more sophisticated target market segments and create the content that speaks directly to them. Brands become more relevant across more market segments.

New purposes

With new market segments and a closer understanding of what’s important to audiences comes new sets of values to support. Advertising has had its fair share of criticism over the years, sometimes portrayed as a negative influence on topics from fast food to body image, among others. But by engaging in the consumer conversation and understanding their audience, brands have become more human, which has given them the space to display their principles and ethics. (There are many examples out there but Always’ celebrated #RunLikeAGirl campaign is a perfect illustration.)

The always on era has allowed brands to identify mutually-held values and tap into a shared higher purpose, bonding with their consumers making a positive contribution to society at the same time. Such values-based advertising is where ‘for-profit’ and ‘for-good’ overlap.

If you’d like to discuss the changing nature of advertising content further and how we can help you managing volumes of content and multiple audiences, be sure to visit us at C-Beach at Cannes or contact us.

 

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