Since 1960, when TV first cast its light across New Zealand living rooms, ads have become engrained in Kiwi culture. BASF’s ‘Dear John’ Song and Toyota’s “bugger”-saying dog are well remembered. More recently ‘Ghost Chips’ took on a life of its own outside of the NZTA ad. Even Tammy Wells, aka ‘the Briscoes lady’ has undeniably become a recognisable face, a sign that ads can be engaging and that TV is a powerful platform for retailers. Helping retailers in this space is TVNZ, which its group insight manager, Kathryn Mitchell, calls a “one-stop shop” because of its extensive knowledge and creative talent.
Building a brand
With the changing media environment in its sights, TVNZ's latest 'Forecast' study explores the persuasive power of storytelling. It found that while it’s increasingly challenging to hold an audience’s attention, storytelling is the way to do it.
It’s a finding that is just as relevant to retailers as it is to any other advertisers because they too can use stories to put the focus on their brand, change perceptions and achieve better cut-through.
“Storytelling has always been at the heart of effective marketing A story-based ad can make your communications more impactful. It’s more engaging, stimulates a stronger emotional response, more likely to go viral and more motivating towards your brand,” Mitchell says.
That’s not to say there’s no need for non-story based ads, with the Forecast research finding they out-perform story-based ads when it comes to calling consumers to action and getting them to go into a store and by a product.
However, Mitchell says the two different types of communications work best in combination and TVNZ has the knowledge to help retailers see when they need to do brand building and when they need to do product messages.
“The research points to the fact you can't just go into market and expect people to buy your product if there is no connection to your brand.”
Mitchell gives the example of Briscoes, which last year used a story-based ‘Xmas’ ad in the lead up to Christmas. The familiar Briscoes lady made an appearance, as did the music used in Briscoes' non-story ads.
The ad received Colmar Brunton’s ‘Most Impactful ad of 2015’ award, because it not only made consumers feel Briscoes delivered the main things needed from a homeware store, it evoked an uplifting emotional response from them.
It was also found to create a strong sense of brand affinity and helped to build long term brand equity for the retailer.
The numbers prove it
With so many platforms popping up, and brands having a choice of what to build brand appeal with, the extensive Forecast study found that a TV ad is still the most powerful platform to get the job done because the video element allows a great story to be told.
On top of this, TV has the biggest audience to deliver a story to. Mitchell says TVNZ reaches an average 2.2 million people every day and this is the biggest daily reach of any media in New Zealand.
“Our audience covers everyone – especially with TVNZ OnDemand, our short form content and all the different stories that we put out in market – we are reaching kids through to adults. The client’s demographic is definitely going to be in there.”
As well as this, TVNZ can guarantee an ad will reach a target demographic because its robust audience measurement captures those tuning in.
While many may argue that the fragmenting media environment is taking away some of TV’s power, Mitchell remains confident in the platform’s ability to reach the target demographics of those advertising.
“We have such confidence in our product and we know that human nature hasn't changed, just the behavior has changed slightly,” she says. “People are a little more fragmented and they are doing different things, but actually the desire from humans to sit in front of entertaining content is stronger than it’s ever been.”
Not only does it provide the biggest reach, Mitchell says “TV is actually incredibly cheap”, with a cost per thousand of $7.
Build on TV
However, while TV achieves the greatest reach for the greatest value, Mitchell says TVNZ would never tell a brand to put all its advertising money into TV.
“We would say, ‘Put a good part of your budget into television, build a really strong audience through our reach, and then add the different layers of media on top of that, that are relevant to your target audience’.”
Mitchell also recommends not using the same TV ad across other platforms, instead she says the message should be adapted to suit the particular platform and audience in order to achieve a much stronger result.
Armed with the knowledge and know-how to make this all happen is TVNZ’s in-house creative team, Blacksand, which recently proved its skill at the Promax Awards. Celebrating standout promotional efforts from broadcasters, Blacksand was awarded 10 golds and two silvers.
Mitchell adds TVNZ’s research and its 10,000 strong online Green Room community can be used to help retailers get the most out of their advertising spend.
“We really just want to get out there and help people utilise the platform, and remind people the value of television and the value of video.”