Context is the new king in the advertising world – but there’s a problem

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Image by Irina Belova | Bigstockphoto

Context is the new art or science that will drive success in advertising, as recent research (and common sense) demonstrates.

But there is a problem.

Research shows or perhaps proves that if an advert has the same theme as an article, it is much more likely that the reader will react to it. There are many triggers in advertising, many of them subconscious or emotional, and the research is helpful as it reinforces what we instinctively know.

If an advert solves a problem presented in the article, it is much more likely to get a reaction. Relevant adverts do not annoy readers nearly as much as adverts that are random and certainly not as much as adverts that are contradictory to the piece’s theme.

Context is the key to success.

Emotion plays a significant role too and adds emotion to context, and the result is dramatic. A survey of seasonal adverts across Australia, the Philippines and Singapore shows that Coca Cola, Disney and Ikea topped the charts this year, all with a ‘feel good’ factor. This is different from last year when the winners were the ones that acknowledged the tough year we all had and survived.

Perhaps, it is no surprise that Coca Cola, Disney and Ikea know this and tailor their adverts accordingly. They make it their business to be relevant.

It is also no surprise that Apple is in the know and has taken a different approach. Its recent move to protect its customers’ privacy has meant that many of its users’ favourite apps cannot be tracked by companies trying to serve them relevant adverts.

As Jouko Ahvenainan says, ‘Companies like Facebook, Google, Snap, Yahoo and Twitter now have much less visibility of a user’s data in Apple’s ecosystem, which makes Apple’s offering more attractive.’

And it is no surprise that Apple’s advertising business has more than tripled in the six months following its privacy play.

Context is king in advertising, but context is impossible if you cannot get the data on what your customers are reading or watching. The result is adverts with no context and therefore not as effective or relevant – or at best, hit and miss.

Unless you are Apple!

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