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How Does That Ad Know Who I Am??-The Rise of INTERACTIVE Ads

David Bosley

As marketers, we all know that there’s a pretty thin line between creepy and unbelievably cool when it comes to personalization. And — let’s be honest — we’re getting kinda good at skating all along that line. At PBJ, innovation is the name of the game and interactive ads definitely fit the bill. Remarketing ads continue to be incredibly popular, and marketers are really stretching their wings when it comes to finding ways to get their audience’s undivided attention and ultimately engagement. Because that’s what it’s all about, right? Getting your audience to not only take a break from their snap chatting to genuinely engage with your brand.

Seamless Personalization

One of the most fascinating examples we’ve seen recently is the creepy-cool Alien: Covenant ad that actually knows your name. Not only does it know your name, but this insane ad actually inserts your name into the audio of the ad seamlessly, intoning “<name> Run” in a macabre voice. The technology required to pull this off certainly isn’t simple, but it truly was done well — there’s not even a pause. The television channel that ran the ad utilized a deep well of registration data in order to personalize each user’s experience. Of course, not every organization has access to this deep of a level of user data, or has a way to use it. You can still look at a light implementation such as incorporating your customer’s name into a digital ad or on-screen interactive element.

An Emotional Battle

AI In Digital Marketing

Did you know that Facebook can now potentially target your audience based on what kind of mood they’re in? This may seem like it’s taking things a bit far, but there are plenty of marketers out there who are looking to play on emotions. Some items are more likely to be purchased when people are in a bad mood, such as things that are familiar and comforting. When you’re in a good mood, you may be more willing to branch out into items that are perhaps a little more edgy or outside of your normal comfort zone. In other words, you may be more willing to take a chance on something new if you’re feeling particularly ebullient. Those evil marketers (aka US) are then able to prey on your emotions to determine when best to hit you with a specific type of offer that is not only personalized with your name, but even your emotions.

While some marketers argue that this direction actually humanizes their ads by marketing to individuals instead of just another number, finding out that this is available can be a bit jarring. You and your team may not be comfortable releasing this detail of information on your customers, or you may consider it just another data point. There are no right or wrong answers, but it’s important to always put yourself in your customer’s shoes to determine if you’re crossing the creepy line.

Pure Interactivity Plays

While personalization has received a lot of attention over the past few years, the interactive element is what’s really rising to the forefront. Consider the recent Mountain Dew ad, where the Professor has a little game of 3-3 with himself . . . before bringing you right into the game with him. You find yourself thinking “Where’s that sound coming from?” at about 40 seconds into the ad, but when you scan around it’s immediately obvious. Hot spots within the ad provide CTAs that feel much more interactive than a simple text link or button. The best part about these ads is that you don’t need special hardware or software. Your audience can get involved right within their web browser or inside their mobile app.

It’s important to note that digital isn’t the only place that you can go wild with the level of interactivity. Ikea is known to be a company that stays on the cutting edge, and they definitely haven’t disappointed with their recent offering. Perhaps you’ve heard about the print Ikea ad that doubles as a pregnancy test? Yup, you pee on the paper to reveal not only whether or not you’re pregnant, but a special price as well. Fortunately, no pee-soaked ads required to get the in-store discount. (Ewww.)