How's this for meta: The Association of National Advertisers is launching its first ad campaign since launching 107 years ago.
Though membership is up, the association wants to refresh its somewhat musty image with the campaign, tagged "Driving Growth for You, Your Brand, and Our Industry. It's in Our
"It's time for us to really start looking at how we communicate our brand and how our members think about us," says the organization's CMO Duke Fanelli. "Should we have done it sooner? Possibly. But we decided this is really the time for us to talk more about what the ANA brand stands for."
The group, whose biggest annual meeting convenes this week, has increased focus in recent years on industry issues such as bot fraud, fake ads and viewability. Its report last summer claiming that there are pervasive cash rebates and other non-transparent practices in the U.S. media-buying ecosystem sent shockwaves through the industry and it hopes to continue that momentum.
"There's just been one program after another the ANA has taken the lead on," Fanelli says. "We want to build awareness for the ANA. We think we have a lot of programs that can help … marketers grow."
The ANA says membership grew from less than 600 to more than 700 between 2014 and 2016. This year, membership topped 1,000. But Fanelli says there's still room for growth.
ANA's corporate membership dues are based on a company's annual advertising expenditures and can range anywhere from $8,250 to six figures annually. There are also associate memberships for non-marketers such as law firms, ad agencies, PR agencies, vendors that cost $5,700 for a gold membership and $3,100 for silver.
"There's a ton of marketers out there that aren't aware of what we can do for them," he says. "Once you get to know us, we think we've got real solid track record to help them grow, but it's also getting those [potential members] that aren't aware of what the capabilities are."
The new campaign is also meant to make the ANA seem more relatable. "We're 107-years-old," Fanelli says. "That sometimes implies stodgy and just out-of-touch." But the new effort seems to imply it's also feisty.
"One of the things we focus on is the need for marketers to take the industry back," he says. "For too long marketers have relegated a lot of responsibility to their agencies or to publishers and media companies without fully understanding or appreciating the role they need to play in making their marketing better stronger or more efficient, or focused on their own individual growth."
All ads include the "It's in Our DNA" tagline, which Fanelli says the group may switch up early next year, but the ads will also include messages like "Come hang with the in crowd" or "We're invested in your success."
They all share the same theme: "Growth will always be the core message in the campaign," Faneili says.
ANA says the campaign will run on its website, via email, on free and paid social feeds, via PR and signage, along with print in Ad Age, Adweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Digiday, MediaPost and several other trade publications.
The budget is less than $250,000 and the effort will run through next year. The ANA designed the creative in-house and is working with New York shop Motus Media for media buying and planning.