Advertising goes soul-searching

CASSIES judge and Touché! president Karine Courtemanche on why the best advertisers are becoming sophisticated insight miners.

Leading up to the CASSIES awards tonight, strategy is featuring a series of articles penned by a different CASSIES jury member, highlighting some effective advertising trends.

By Karine Courtemanche

How do advertisers win over consumers in a world where people can actively block ads, or consciously decide not to expose themselves to them? With the rise of live streaming and subscription-based content consumption, consumers have many more options today to ignore advertising than they did in the past.

When technology allows our target market to tune out, we as advertisers must pull prospective consumers back in. Indeed, we’re seeing the industry fight back by courting consumers in a whole new way – through extreme relevancy. This emerging trend was quite evident among the cases reviewed by our CASSIES jury this year. This evolution, however, is about more than simply striking a chord with consumers. It’s about insights that make deep and long-lasting emotional connections with the target audience.

In effect, this is changing our advertising game. Whereas our campaign briefs used to start with product and brand attributes as the focus, today, the birth of effective communications campaigns must begin with consumer insights.

But this is about more than just a fleeting insight that captures momentary attention. We are turning into sophisticated insight miners.

In 2015 and beyond, advertisers will continue to evolve this “soul-searching” process, where a thought remains with the consumer, long after the creative has been seen, heard or read.

Tomorrow’s brand messages must give consumers something they not only want to share, but feel proud to share – where they become the flag bearer of the advertising.

This soul-searching approach will mark a tipping point in our industry, where advertisers will be able to truly circumvent ad-blocking technology and cultivate strong brand communities on their own terms.

Karine Courtemanche is a CASSIES jury member and president of Touché!

The CASSIES awards show is being held tonight at the Hilton Toronto. 

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