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3 Rules For Winning Digital Content

In our constant monitoring of digital and mobile marketing that works, and doesn’t, we’ve learned some major lessons…

We’re always on the look out for digital marketing wins and mistakes, tools to update your mobile/social plans, and the things you should know to stay on top of marketing on specific platforms. Today, we’re taking a step back, processing all we know about reaching young consumers online and on mobile, and giving you three overall rules you should follow to win digital marketing. 


When we ask young consumers which type of advertising they usually ignore or avoid, 62% say online ads, like banner and video ads, and 68% say mobile in-app ads. In other words, online marketing—you’re doing it wrong. It’s not enough to be where they are. You have to be where they are, and match your message to their behavior. Chopping up traditional TV ads and sticking them in front of online content, for example, is not cutting it. At the Association of National Advertisers event last month, PepsiCo executive Brad Jakeman gave an impassioned speech about the misuse of pre-roll, “a model of polluting content that is not sustainable.” More brands are now trying to create pre-roll content that is unique to the platform. Mountain Dew’s new two-minute ads are completely free of Dew branding, instead showing NBA star Russell Westbrook doing a “powerstance” move through random scenes in a neon green suit. The approach is meant to make content that is intriguing enough that young viewers will want to click through. Pre-roll is only one category. Across the board, traditional ad content can’t be used to scatter across all platforms, and unique approaches need to be taken for digital.


Thinking of advertising on a mobile entertainment platform? You better learn the 2-second rule. An agency whose clients advertise on Snapchat reported to Digiday that Millennials are quick to hit the “skip” button, and “when marketers think they are buying a 10-second ad, they really have to get their message out in two seconds, or else most won’t see it.” Young consumers have ad A.D.D., and to capture their attention brands will have to resort to new tactics—that includes capturing their attention in only a few seconds. Building up to a climax isn’t necessarily the way to go here, content needs to grab them right away.


Way back when, we told you that for young consumers moving images in all advertisements could be a rising expectation. We’ve begun to see that happen, as GIFs are adopted by brands in marketing, and more tools arise to move digital ads away from the dreaded, and ineffective, static banner. Recently, Facebook introduced a new mobile ad format that takes up the full screen once clicked, allowing brands to create marketing content specific to the platform. Wendy’s showed just how creative brands could actually get with the tool, creating a campaign that uses a combo of photos, videos, and GIFs to “build a burger” on the viewer’s phone in an engaging way. Viewers can tilt their phone to control the action and view the ad in a different way. The full-screen ads are more immersive, and allow another way to move away from static imagery in mobile marketing.