Due to a paradigm shift in how consumers engage with brands in today’s society, marketers are progressively seeking ways to formulate more connected and engaged relationships with consumers. This can be achieved through employing imaginative, meaningful and eye-catching creatives, an effective strategy in targeting and appealing to consumer needs.
We examine a variety of creative types (including lifestyle, user-generated content and reviews), and the benefits and disadvantages of each. Whilst each form of creative is applicable to all stages of the purchase funnel, we’ll also drop in some tips as to where the creatives can be suitably placed to achieve your campaign objectives.
What are lifestyle creatives?
Aiming to connect a brand to the ideals, values and aspirations of their identified target audience, lifestyle creatives are one of the most consistently used approaches in marketing. Described as immersive and engaging, lifestyle imagery and videos demonstrate how a product or service will fit seamlessly into a consumer’s life.
Brands who adopt this form of creative into their marketing strategy aim to convince the consumer that their brand resonates with the ultimate version of themselves. In turn, the brand becomes deeply ingrained within their target audience’s psyche, achieving a stronger, more personal connection between the brand and consumer.
Take Nike, the athletic apparel giant. Instead of merely selling a new style of trainers, Nike promotes an ideal. With its ads encapsulating an active, healthy lifestyle, Nike has become relatable to many aspects of people’s lives in modern society.
Where should we use lifestyle creatives?
Lifestyle creatives are an effective tool in targeting cold, interest-based audiences at top funnel level. Prior to engaging with the ad, this form of creative can connect to new consumers on a personal level, illustrating what benefits they can obtain from the product or service and how it would fit into their everyday lives.
However, while the respectable merits of lifestyle creatives are particularly strong, promoting the perfect ideal can be viewed as unrealistic or ‘too aspirational’. So keeping your creative authentic and realistic, to avoid promoting a false or fabricated lifestyle, is key.
When do they work?
Red Bull, an innovative energy drink brand which has become synonymous with sport, music and stunts, successfully utilise lifestyle creatives within their marketing strategy. Rather than just advertising the flavour combinations or calorie content of their products, Red Bull promotes an adventurous and energetic lifestyle which resonates with their target demographic.
The brand’s core message is to inspire bravery, adventure and fearlessness. By promoting this lifestyle, Red Bull cultivates an authentic connection with its target audience of adrenaline enthusiasts.
User Generated Content
What is user-generated content?
User-generated content (UGC), otherwise known as consumer-generated marketing, is any form of creative content posted by consumers on a social platform. Displayed in the form of text, images, videos or audio files, user-generated content is based upon real experiences and unique, truthful opinions.
Brands utilise the organic content in their marketing campaigns, social media accounts and websites, establishing a level of trust with their consumers. When successfully integrated into a marketing strategy, UGC encourages interaction, improves brand loyalty and heavily influences future purchasing decisions.
As social media users, we are continuously exposed to unpaid reviews on clothing brands, Instagram stories of a new Starbucks coffee flavour or Facebook posts praising a local restaurant’s customer service. With 55% of people trusting UGC over any other form of marketing, this raw, exclusive content enables brands to find new potential consumers or influences users who have previously spent time on the brand’s website.
Where should we use it?
User-generated content enhances consumer understanding of a brand or product, thereby is a viable strategy in reengaging audiences in the middle funnel. By providing exclusive content with which the viewer can read, share, or comment, users in the middle funnel are presented with another incentive to buy the brand’s product or service.
Despite building trust with the consumer, this unpredictable form of creative can enable users to provide negative, damaging content about the brand, product or service. Nevertheless, genuine thoughts and criticisms are better than no feedback or consumer interaction at all, right?
When does it work?
Starbuck’s renowned Red Cup Contest exemplifies how user generated content can be used effectively. Every December, Starbucks launches a competition which requires their consumers to take creative photos of their coffees, for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card. Not only does this lead to brand exposure and a boost of social media reach, but it additionally generates an increase in sales.
What are review creatives?
In a world of declining trust in marketing, reviews and ratings have become a crucial source of information when purchasing a brand’s product or service. According to a recent survey, consumers read up to 10 reviews prior to making a purchase, emphasising the strong demand for third-party validation. As a consumer, we often need encouragement that we are purchasing from a trustworthy brand, and that the product or service is worth investing in. Think about it: have you ever bought an expensive watch from a random advertisement without looking up the brand first and reading the reviews?
As a powerful form of creative in modern society, reviews and ratings enable a brand to enhance their reputation, increase brand loyalty and earn credibility. However, just like user generated content, negative reviews can tarnish potential new customers’ perception of the brand. Furthermore, if not kept up to date and relevant, outdated ratings and reviews can portray the brand as unorganised and rather ‘scruffy’.
Where should we use them?
Whilst reviews are highly beneficial to every stage of the purchase funnel, targeting users who need further validation to complete the purchase of a product or service is an effective strategy. As 84% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations, ratings and reviews drive bottom funnel audiences’ propensity to purchase when they may hold prior reservations.
Take BetterYou as an example, a natural health brand who specialises in the supplementation of essential nutrients. Consumers may read a 5-star review from a trusted third-party source and in turn, purchase their Magnesium Sleep Lotion which aims to relax tired muscles.
When do reviews work?
An example of a brand who successfully utilises this form of creative is Cheesies, a client here at Kandidly. Through incorporating Trustpilot ads which display authentic opinions of their popped cheese snacks, Cheesies have attained a more cohesive and consumer-friendly impression of their brand.
In summary – how important are the types of creative your brand uses?
In the dynamic world of marketing, understanding the different types of creatives and what they can achieve for your brand is essential. The continual perpetuation of generic advertisements is not enough for the consumer any more. There is a demand for engaging, creative and memorable ads which leave long-lasting impressions, provide important information and build meaningful relationships between the brand and consumer