For all the ad innovation and shifting consumer behaviors of the last decade, the advertising dollars still reside primarily in TV. Let's forgo the debate about why and jump right into another truth: TV advertisers aren't ignoring the digital lives of their target audiences, but increasingly focusing on how those expensive TV ads can drive digital behaviors. After all, if an ad can generate a search, a social action or online video view, the audience isn't just engaging with the brand -- he or she could even be helping in promotions. That bounce is important bang for the buck.
So, what makes a digital hit? Let's review 5 campaigns that drove some of the highest levels of digital interactions during the fall TV season. The data shows online activity (combining search, social and video view behaviors) against the estimated spend for each day and illustrates how not all digital buzz is created equal.
Funny and instantly relatable, "Hump Day" quickly became the perfect "joke" video to pass around the office every Wednesday. The universal nature of the spot also means that viewers can enjoy it every Wednesday no matter what time of year it is, as evidenced by its sustained social activity that continues to be robust months after release.
Kmart: Shoe Your Joe
Primary Driver: Controversy
Agency: Draftfcb Chicago
Production Company: Wondros
A little bit of controversy goes a long way for Kmart and Joe Boxer. The "ballsy" nature of the spot definitely struck a chord with viewers who took to social media in droves to share the ad, generating massive YouTube plays and social activity over a very short time span.
To promote Sony's upcoming Playstation 4 game console, BBH New York turned things around and made gamers the stars. The ad features ordinary gamers involved in the kind of epic action set pieces you expect to find in a PS4 game. And given the video's high viewership numbers on YouTube, it's safe to say gamers appreciate ads that are all about them.
To introduce consumers to its new line of Galaxy Gear, Samsung went old school. Its "Evolution" campaign featured many of pop culture's most iconic communications devices, from the "Star Trek" tricorder to the Power Rangers' digital watches. By tickling consumers' sense of nostalgia, Samsung hopes to align its new line with these other iconic products. So far the plan seems to be working, with high YouTube views and search activity implying that consumers are willing to give Samsung a chance.
Pop culture and humor are all over Kia's new ad for the Soul. The Kia Hamsters are back and, just like the redesigned Soul, are shedding the fat and getting fit. To score the hilarious workout routines Kia licensed Lady Gaga's (at the time) brand-new song "Applause," creating a delightful pop culture crossover. Gaga fans loved the ad, the first place many probably heard the new track, and were quick to share it with others. You can see when Kia started spending on versions of these ads below -- and also when it released a 90-second spot to YouTube in late October, how much activity it drove.
The figures here comprise a variety of actions directly related to TV ads as they happen across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Bing, Yahoo and the iSpot.tv website. The iSpot platform provides digital and TV ad metrics across a continually growing database of more than 40,000 campaigns running on over 80 TV networks and representing more than 5,000 brands.