It is becoming increasingly common for companies to have sustainable elements within either their products or services. Sustainability is something that people are considering more and more critical, so it benefits a company to explain and share how they are saving energy, recycling materials, and engaging in green marketing in general. Green marketing refers to advertising products or practices that promote sustainability.
Sustainability is fundamental to younger people looking to make a change by giving money to companies with their interests in mind. Companies need to share this information in a format that will resonate with young people, such as social media.
There are some key elements to creatively advertise how your company or product promotes sustainability to the public.
First, it is always important to understand the audience. According to a Fast Company survey from 2019, 40% of millennials have picked one job over another because of the companies’ dedication to sustainability. Millennials value companies that value sustainability. Once you understand your audience and how to use green marketing, you can begin to explore effective ways to reach them.
In cases where a company is trying to target a younger audience, social media ads specifically should be used more than something like direct response television (DRTV) ads just because of the levels of engagement of each age group. If a company has created an infomercial or something similar, they can post clips of it to social media for more direct advertising to younger audiences.
Second, the explanation should be clear and specific with background information about how the research was gathered. Companies should be environmentally savvy and able to explain precisely how their products or practices go about achieving what they say they are. Nestle did this exceptionally well in this area when they announced a press release in early 2020 that explained how they would begin using recycled plastic for their packaging. Their thorough description of this process gained a lot of attention, and they received about ninety-thousand direct responses to this announcement, according to ListenFirstMedia.com.
Third, it is helpful for companies to explain their plans for achieving a more sustainable way of working in the future so that audiences can understand its goals even if they haven’t quite reached them yet. Conveying this type of information over social media is effective because it serves as direct-to-consumer advertising where people feel directly addressed and, therefore, more engaged with what the company is saying.
As advertisers and marketers in DRTV and E-Commerce, we are in the business of speaking directly to people who may not think like us. We make efforts to understand their wants and needs as we pursue direct to consumer advertising.
Today, there’s a growing demand for brands to speak up on societal issues, whether sustainability, racism, or gender equality. But there’s caution on the political side due to the scale of possible negative repercussions. Leaning towards one way or another can make or break a company’s optics. Advertisers have a tough job of navigating the deeply divided political, social, and ideological landscape of the United States. Now more than ever, it’s a challenge to promote products and services to a diverse group of consumers in the TV and digital landscape.
One possible route to take is creating variations in advertising, thus speaking separately to each group. But this is not always the most pragmatic approach. So what are advertisers supposed to do when faced with the tension between trying to align with various causes and navigating a divided –and often hostile– public?
The answer to this question remains unclear, but the best way brands can advocate for causes they stand behind without causing a divide amongst their audience is by sending a message of unity and positivity. Americans are so divided from of all the negative messaging they’re exposed to. If you use positive messaging in advertisements and seek ways to bring people together, regardless of their beliefs, the chance for unified messaging and positive customer response remains strong.
When executing direct to consumer advertising to Gen Z, some of the tactics used for other demographics, such as DRTV and Facebook advertising, may not fit the bill. It is important to consider the best ways to reach them and catch their attention. There are some key differences from other generations that will determine how effective certain types of marketing are. Here are some specific points to consider:
TV and broadcast radio are losing popularity as well as certain social media sites like Facebook. Audio streaming is quite popular, as are podcasts. For social media, popular Gen Z sites are platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. So advertising there could grab attention.
Importance of Ethical Consumption and Brand Image: Gen Z is more likely to be reached by a company they feel is ethical, so it is crucial to explain how a company or product is not harmful to the environment, how they help the community, who produced it, etc. It is not enough anymore to be a company whose only goal is to sell to them. They want to feel that the company is also helping the planet and its people.
Keep advertisements brief and honest: Gen Z is used to consuming a lot of visual, digital, and social media in short periods of time, and they value authenticity and transparency. It would be helpful to clearly explain the product or company and its history using those involved in the company rather than paid actors and sets.
COVID-19 has changed how we live socially, professionally, and financially. Because of economic setbacks and widespread job loss, some people have less spending money, and others have saved due to receiving stimulus funds. The types of products that gained and lost popularity during this period can provide insight into how people are spending their time and how their priorities have changed.
Online, digital and DRTV, and home shopping increased prominence during this period due to people spending more time at home and actively avoiding going out in public. Because of this digital surge and its convenience, the popularity of online shopping and direct-to-consumer advertising is likely to continue at full force after the pandemic.
People had more time at home and more time to evaluate brands. And are more open to value and new brands. This shift could lead to economic instability for higher-end name brands. Still, it could help increase popularity for start-up brands promoted in DRTV and social media, giving a more level playing field.
Certain product categories surged in popularity, such as soaps, hand sanitizers, and other types of sanitizing products, as well as health, fitness, and home improvement products and services. Pandemic behavior will likely linger for a long time post-pandemic, and marketers can take advantage of the trends created during the pandemic.
TikTok has become one of the biggest social media platforms in recent years, with no sign of its popularity declining anytime soon. Using different social media platforms to advertise is an effective way of adapting to modern culture, since people today consume so many different media types. It is essential to understand the specific platform you’re using in order to create the most effective ad campaign. TikTok is unique to other platforms, so advertising on the app requires special attention to the way that it’s used.
Understanding the Platform’s Structure
Ads will need to be short videos (15-60 seconds), including engaging audio elements. The app thrives off trending hashtags, sounds, and challenges. It is less formal than other platforms like Instagram, so users are used to seeing relatively unpolished content. Creating too polished and ‘fake’ ads that do not convey authenticity will likely not be well received.
Consider Using Popular Users on TikTok to Promote Products/ Services
Some people have found fame on TikTok and cultivated a large following on the platform. There are popular creators in many different genres, from vegan cooking to special effects makeup. It would be helpful to either feature these people or create content referencing them because TikTok users recognize these people as being influential on TikTok specifically.
Consider Using Trends and Sounds that are Specific to TikTok
In addition to creators, there are specific trends and audios (called sounds) that are distinctly popular on TikTok and not on other platforms. It would be helpful to tap into these trends/ challenges/ popular audios to catch the audience’s attention and create something similar to the content they are already seeing and enjoying.
Things are changing in the tech world as Apple released a new software update which allows iPhone users to have more control over their data. Data privacy has been a growing issue that effects millions of users every day. In the past there has been little regulation surrounding the topic as data rights is an up and coming human rights issue. The new software update will help empower users to decide if they want their data tracked. So how does this track relative to digital advertising? With Apple’s new data control, users are able to decide whether they want to share their user ID which big tech companies, such as Facebook and google, which use this data for targeted ads. Advertisers and small businesses in particular rely on targeted ads for new customers. Apple’s new feature could change the way digital, direct to consumer advertising is conducted. Smart software companies are coming up with work arounds and there are some excellent solutions which involve cutting-edge remarketing platforms which can collect actionable, detailed customer information from previously anonymous website visitors, which is the next generation in retargeting and a level above the previous limiting options from facebook and google. Contact Avalanche if you are interested in learning more about these new solutions.
The pandemic has created a shift in the way so many businesses operate, including TV production. There is a new normal which has been adopted and new practices incorporated, which could be with production long after the pandemic, as there is a now heightened awareness of health and safety. There is more opportunity for virtual production, utilizing live streams and remote recording. For on set production, new protocols include having a Covid compliance officer who sends out covid questionnaires in advance and on set, taking temperatures, monitoring social distancing and mask/shield compliance, as well as having hand sanitizers readily available to all and misting all high touch surfaces with disinfectant. There are no more buffet meals or universal craft services. All food is individually boxed and snacks are individually wrapped and bagged. There are smaller crews to be more able to social distance and thus far clients have not been returning to set, but with sophisticated live streaming (including multi camera shoots) real time to clients, interaction and consultation during shooting is remarkably productive. So in advertising, the show must go on and between virtual and live shooting, we are able to continue making digital advertising content, TV commercials and more. How has your industry changed in the past year?
One of the biggest trends in advertising, digital adverting, and a social media topic, especially in 2020 and 2021 is Artificial Intelligence. “Artificial intelligence makes it possible to reduce resource use and process vast amounts of data, and, in certain cases, make better decisions than humans” (quoted from [theExplorer.no](http://theexplorer.no/) ) it’s already taking over many simple jobs. According to a Stradigi AI article, 73% of marketing leaders are using AI and seeing the benefits For example, Microsoft and Uber use [Knightscope K5 robots](https://www.businessinsider.com/knightscope-security-robots-microsoft-uber-2017-5?r=US&IR=T) to “patrol parking lots and large outdoor areas to predict and prevent crime. The robots can read license plates, report suspicious activity, and collect data to report to their owners.” You can rent these R2-D2-like robots for [$7 an hour](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knightscope) – which is less expensive than a human security guard’s wage: (information from [https://www.singlegrain.com/digital-marketing/digital-marketing-trends-2021/](https://www.singlegrain.com/digital-marketing/digital-marketing-trends-2021/) ) But many can argue that this trend is taking away jobs of hardworking people and eliminating their jobs. The other problem with AI is the start-up cost is astronomical and so is maintaining these huge machines. These machines also lack the creativity that their human counter parts hold. So, the question is will AI replace the humans or will the human kick AI to the curb. All we know for now is that AI is a growing and booming business that has just started. What’s your take on the issue? We wonder how it could influence direct response advertising, TV, and social media.
The Male Gaze can be described as the inclusion of women in media where they are often objectified to please a heterosexual male audience. This continues in the media we see today because many men hold positions that allow them to have control over the content. Because women have struggled to get to the high status and powerful roles men hold there hasn’t been an opportunity to change the narrative. Within global media it is much more common for women to be depicted as sexual objects compared to their male counterparts.
According to data intelligence company Morning Consult, only 29% of American women believe they are represented accurately in advertising. Another study called “Rewrite Her Story” looked at women in film and analyzed 56 of the highest grossing movies release in 2018 in 20 countries. The study found that the women in these movies were almost four times more likely to be sexually objectified. Movies, advertisements, media and much more is often influenced by the male gaze. To have better representations of women within advertising, more women need to be hired into leadership roles. Avalanche Creative Services is run by a strong female team. We are here to advocate for better representations within advertising, DRTV, and social media.
For many Americans, the true sign that the pandemic was real was when sports, Broadway, and concerts were suspended. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that starting on February 23rd venues with over 10,000 seats, can have fans return to hockey, basketball, football, soccer, baseball, music, shows and performances, with limited capacity. Madison Square Garden announced that it will roughly allow 2,000 fans to every game starting with the February 23rd Knick’s game.
This is a real win for both fans advertisers. Digital advertising and TV advertising are up revving up efforts to reach fans. This new sector of advertising is back, as marketers will be able to start to advertising to their consumers and fans. Who is ready to go back into the stands and cheer on their favorite team? Or who is ready to win tickets to see their favorite team or band again? Let the creative ads begin! Avalanche is a full service digital and DRTV agency and is here to help. Our creative juices are already flowing. Play ball!