Monday, April 08, 2013

Retro Media Planning

I saw an old Kit Kat ad on tv this week (the panda one if you are interested), and it got me thinking about nostalgia in ads and how they affect our emotion. Then I thought. Why don't more campaigns and media buyers take advantage of this?

Ad agencies almost always want to do something new, and that's understandable. Running old ads is often seen as either a cheap cash-in for a well loved campaign, or the client trying to cut costs. But it doesn't have to be.

There are many channels devoted solely to retro programming, to repeats and shows designed specifically to reminisce and re-watch things from when the audience was younger.

So why don't more brands join in?

For example, Vintage TV. They show programmes based almost entirely around 60's, 70's and 80's music. So why not take some of your ads from those time periods and place them in the breaks? If people are feeling the warm glow of nostalgia, why not tap into that and join in instead of interrupting it?

This isn't mass running of an old campaign, this is selected targeting to show ads in a way that will enhance the positive emotions surrounding the brand.

If you're a 50 year old, watching a show about the 1970's, and in the ad break you see the Hovis bike ad and a PG Chimps ad, not only will they stand out, you'll be far more likely to pay attention and think of the brand in a positive way.

I can imagine some brands would worry about not following their current brand message, but really, in the right place, that doesn't matter. You are likely to get positive emotional response, more attention paid, and more recall of the brand. Besides, a truly great brand is comfortable both with what it is now, and what it was in the past.

Brands are not solely in the present, they have a past and a future, and most are much stronger for being in touch with the whole scope of their history.


Anthony said...

Really liked this post, especially the 1970's programme media planning.

In my opinion, I think that it (unfortunately) doesn't happen because of how fee commissions are worked out at agencies.

You can charge more as an agency if you're producing a new campaign, compared with running an old campaign.
On client and agency side, it's much harder to justify your own existence if you're running ads created by a predecessor.

What do you think of refreshing well liked ads for the times - a bit like Yellow Pages did with 'Day V Lately' and 'JR Hartley'?

I'm not sure it's the right solution, but is it one step closer?

Rob Mortimer (aka Famous Rob) said...

Hi Anthony, thanks for the comment.

I agree, I think agencies don't like losing the commission. But I think an agency that is prepared to sacrifice a little pay to help a client connect better with customers will/should more than reap the benefits in the long term.

I like refreshes when done well, but that's creating a whole new campaign with all the associated costs. This is about using the whole catalogue of campaigns in a different way.

I bet if all the ad breaks in Vintage TV were full of retro ads some people would actually tune in to see it. Both the station and the advertisers would benefit.