NAVIGATING THE FUTURE OF ADVERTISING
As we step into the advertising realm of 2024, the landscape is evolving at an unprecedented pace. In an era where consumer behaviors, technology, and market dynamics are constantly shifting– staying ahead of the curve is not just a strategic advantage, but a necessity. From the emergence of cutting-edge technologies to tracking consumer trends, strap in as the CRAFTSMAN+ experts share their thoughts on where the future of advertising is heading!
THE FUTURE OF CTV
With a growth rate of 21.2% in 2023 alone, it’s set to be an even bigger year for CTV advertising. Let’s dive into what the future could hold for Connected TV [CTV].
- Personalized Content Delivery
With AI at the forefront of digital advertising, CTV advertising will look and feel more personalized and tailored to each consumer. Interactive ad formats, including quizzes and games, are gaining traction offering a means of not just engagement, but also key data capture for targeted content. Putting the customer in control is key to engagement, allowing ‘opt in’ and providing choice of experience.
- Ecommerce Partnerships
We saw a groundbreaking partnership between Walmart and ROKU in 2022, marking CTV as the next ecommerce destination for consumers. Going “beyond the QR code”, customers are able to interact and explore product pages on the largest screen in their home, creating a seamless shopping experience that drives a faster conversion to purchase. This is set to continue further as we explore the sheer wealth of opportunity CTV brings to advertisers, within the home of a truly captive audience.
- VACTA [Voice Activated Call to Action] Integration
Creating a faster path to purchase, AI [Artificial Intelligence] capabilities will be at the forefront of advertising. With interactive VACTAs [Voice Activated Call To Action] that connect to your device, customers streaming TV can be taken directly to the product, game, business of choice, without having to scan a QR code or perform online searches.
WHAT’S NEXT IN NATIVE ADVERTISING?
With more and more platforms adopting a more seamless approach to native [or paid] advertising, we look forward to what the future has in store for this particular medium.
- Connecting the Consumer
Interactive advertising is on the verge of significant evolution. Imagine a scenario where your brand's successful carousel on major advertising platforms not only showcases products, but also allows direct purchases without the need for additional clicks. This seamless integration, exemplified by platforms like TikTok, and catching up with others like X and Meta, can be extended further by incorporating features like Apple Wallet. Brands aiming for growth and exposure should position themselves at the forefront of this emerging trend in interactive advertising.
- Interactive Messaging
Messaging services like WhatsApp wield significant influence, especially with Meta's market share. Anticipate a surge in advertising opportunities on the platform. Considering Meta's strategic approach, WhatsApp seems poised to be the next frontier for viral marketing. Envision a scenario where mentioning a brand in your text triggers the automatic replacement of words with branded emojis. This could seamlessly direct users to stores, brands, or products associated with those emojis. This evolution hints at the future landscape of native advertising within messaging platforms.
THE INTEGRATION OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND AUGMENTED REALITY
The possibilities of AI and AR in advertising are becoming increasingly impressive. Moving beyond the traditional one-sided communication, AI allows brands to engage in more meaningful, two-way conversations with users. When we integrate AI, and AR, how can we transform the way we approach our advertising strategies?
- Experiential Advertising
We stand at the brink of transcending the limitations of static and video ads with the advent of technologies like AR [Augmented Reality]. AR enables the seamless integration of users' surroundings into the ad experience, fostering highly engaging interactions. The synergy of AI [Artificial Intelligence] with this immersive approach opens doors to personalized, two-way conversations with the audience. Envision an ad where a character from a game or movie interacts with users, speaking their language and adapting to their cultural context—a level of engagement previously considered unimaginable. In the future, emerging technologies, such as AR, will allow us to seamlessly incorporate the user's surroundings into the ad experience, creating incredibly engaging interactions.
- Productivity and AI
As we look at the integration of AI into advertising operations, we can predict the significant effect it will have on productivity and the way we collect and analyze data. For example, at CRAFTSMAN+ we are already utilizing key AI technologies like ChatGPT for research and inspiration, MidJourney for high-level concept generation, DALL-E for creating eye-catching visuals, Runway for generating animatics, and alison.ai for creative analytics. Our goal this year is to integrate these platforms to streamline our process and drive data analysis in order to produce high-quality, intelligent creative that exceeds results for our partners. Additionally, predictive analytics will assist advertisers in strategic decision-making, combined with A/B testing and optimization. Marketers can fine-tune their ad campaigns based on predictive insights, ensuring they resonate with their target audience effectively.
- Customization and Personalization
Machine learning algorithms will enable optimized ad targeting, ensuring that campaigns reach the most relevant audiences, ultimately boosting effectiveness. AI-driven personalization can tailor content to individual preferences, maximizing engagement through social channels, reviews, ratings, and other data sources– in real-time! AI will also have the capacity to analyze audience sentiment and make instant adjustments to the ad's dialogue or visuals, effectively changing the narrative on the spot. Looking forward, these AI-driven systems will help to ensure brand safety by monitoring creator content and providing real-time reports— a crucial feature in today's fast-paced digital landscape.
TAKING USER-GENERATED CONTENT FURTHER IN 2024
Did you know…TikTok users are 1.4x times more likely to credit humor within UGC content as a motivation for downloading a game and giving it a try? UGC [User-Generated Content] is a powerful tool for brands to create an authentic and loyal fanbase, but how can they take this further?
- Authenticity + Relatability
The trend is shifting away from high-tier influencers in paid media. Instead, micro-influencers and local talent will dominate, fostering authenticity. While large influencers still hold sway organically, content creators can yield similar results in paid campaigns, with genuine execution. The key to success for brands will lie in selecting talent based on context and ensuring they authentically represent their target audience. Relatability and authenticity will be paramount in shaping the future of UGC and keeping your brand relevant.
- Reenactments + Sketches
A trend that began in short-form videos, now thrives where characters, played by one person in different roles, engage in lively dialogue— thus, offering a fun storytelling approach. The key lies in creating lovable [or hateable characters] with the potential for recurring appearances in subsequent UGC videos. We've identified three core UGC themes: Testimonial style [emphasizing authenticity], trend-driven content [capitalizing on current hot topics], and out-of-the-box creativity [leveraging platforms like TikTok for entertainment-first concepts]. Tailoring these themes based on client KPIs and segmented testing is crucial; testimonials may excel in conversions, while out-of-the-box approaches may drive impressive impressions.
- Actionable Entertainment
Build on the aspect of community! Making the audience feel a part of a movement will yield creative content that generates hype and inspires gamers to take action. Brands can build content of a similar style to carry on the conversation, leading to brand engagement, growth and loyalty.
- Experimentation and Newness
Stop the scroll! 78% of users agree it's ok for brands to try different ways to create content. Lean into the power of fan edits and hype videos. Learn from what your fans want to see and allow it to influence the content you produce. Likewise, outputting new and fresh content at volume is absolutely essential to keep an engaged and captive audience. TikTok’s algorithm prioritizes new creative the most rapidly.
- Be Bold and TEST
Consider platform nuances: Partners are experimenting with A/B testing, comparing high-quality live action versus User-Generated Content [UGC] on various platforms. For instance, Meta's 2023 report highlights mobile shots that outperform for intent, while studio shots boost brand awareness. Embrace cross-platform strategies: In the era of Reels and Shorts, platform-specific content is obsolete. Test assets across all platforms and tailor variations based on performance. In 2024, be cautious as social platforms converge, replicating successful features. Despite production efficiencies, the imperative to stand out intensifies. Explore new concepts and bold creative initiatives, for a competitive edge.
THE POSSIBILITIES OF DIGITAL-OUT-OF-HOME
Historically, OOH [Out-Of-Home] advertising has been focused on leaning into a physical medium, lacking the ability to measure or analyze advertising success, not to mention requiring traditional print design knowledge. With the advent of technology, DOOH [Digital-Out-Of-Home] advertising has brought this experience into the 21st century. Not only can we easily translate the designs we’re creating for most of our digital marketing efforts, but this also allows advertisers to measure success and exposure in a multitude of ways.
- Targeted Engagement
Tailoring creative based on location/venue has been a game changer for our team and clients, alike. With a focus on geo-specific concepts, the goal of DOOH is to ultimately drive engagement by meeting the consumer where they are...literally. Advertisers now have an abundance of ways to reach their target audience with the help of strategically placed digital advertising in a variety of locations such as the workplace, doctor’s surgery, bus shelter, airport or taxi cab. With more and more venues switching from traditional advertising to digital capabilities, DOOH is set to be a strong medium to test in 2024.
When it comes to the advancements of DOOH [Digital-Out-Of-Home], contextual relevance is key as to why it outperforms so many other forms of traditional media. Both flexible and effective, DOOH can leverage programmatic spend to precisely target the intended audience at the optimal time of day. This technology enables advertisers to deliver targeted, real-time messages to specific audiences based on various data points, such as location, demographics, and even weather conditions! The result is more efficient campaign management, precise targeting, and better ROI. Looking forward, we can assume there will be an increased adoption of DOOH capabilities in 2024 by agencies and ad tech service providers. The growth in partnerships between DSPs [the tools they use] and DOOH providers, will allow for access to all sorts of DOOH ad inventory.
- Dynamic Content
Static billboards still provide benefits in terms of a cost-effective method for driving reach, however, DOOH screens provide the option for dynamic, eye-catching content that can increase overall engagement. We are pushing boundaries with visually striking, moving, or immersive advertisements to capture attention and engage viewers to create memorable and shareable experiences for consumers– just look at what Blizzard achieved with the viral DOOH Diablo IV campaign last year that just so happened to coincide with an apocalyptic New York sky, only heightening their engagement.
DOOH has grown over 20% YoY for the past 2 years. Post-pandemic, there is a clear preference amongst consumers for in-person touchpoints. Unlike most digital marketing efforts, consumers cannot scroll past DOOH media. So, instead of a ‘scroll stopping’ experience, we want to create ‘stop and look’ experiences, giving the viewer the chance to fully digest and interact with the creative. DOOH breaks the mold by exposing your audience to your ads throughout their day-to-day lives. Studies show that ads seen two to three times have an increased impact on customers’ purchasing decisions and help them recall the brand’s products.
Data and analytics integration is revolutionizing campaign measurement, refining targeting and optimizing content in real time. To accurately define an exposed audience, factors like ad log timestamps, device location, venue type, and screen location are crucial. Analyzing the behaviors of this audience reveals the real-world impact of the campaign. While DOOH is known for upper-funnel metrics, mobile retargeting extends the impact to safely retarget exposed audiences. By combining this with mobile campaign reporting metrics, advertisers can effectively demonstrate the success of their direct response-focused campaigns.
Interested in finding out more? CRAFTSMAN+ provides all you need to future-proof your creative!