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Industry Takes: Same Commercials, New Tech

Justin Turnblom

In 2019, digital ad spending will account for roughly half of the global ad market for the first time. Despite rapid technological development, advertisers have been slow getting to this point. Historically, brands have banked on their online audience engaging with their ads and branded social content, but this hasn’t always panned out as social users are often reluctant to proactively engage with advertisers. The social media or internet user is hoping to avoid commercials and is often enabled to do so. That’s why, since the rise of social media, utilizing influencers has become crucial as they’ve steered buying habits for years and can often do the heavy lifting of appearing as an authentic endorsement.

As the marketplace and technology evolve so do possible paths to consumers. With the advent of social media stories, advertisers are beginning to recognize ways to disrupt the traditional relationship between commercial and consumer in exciting and lucrative ways. 


New Audiences

After Instagram and Facebook began adopting technology pioneered by Snapchat, “stories” have come to dominate the social media landscape. Stories via their temporary nature are seemingly authentic in that they seem to offer a candid look into a person or brand’s real life and personality. Like television, advertising through social media stories is a fairly uninvolved event for consumers. Viewers aren’t required to take action only to view the ad, making them more receptive to messaging.

Stories are also a primarily mobile experience and are formatted to communicate in a way that aligns with how consumers use their devices, with vertical full-screen video. There can be no question that, for years, advertisers have been dreaming of a way to get commercial content in front of everyone at all times. Mobile phones and social media stories are their way to do it. 

The bottom line is that a story represents an experience, and the ability for advertisers to target the right audience and for lower cost is enabling them to achieve new results in the digital ad space. 


Advertising as Social Storytelling 

Disruptive tech and new modes of consuming content have led advertisers to explore innovative and appealing new ways to position ads in front of audiences. By repurposing commercial content for use in social stories, for instance, advertisers are starting to indulge in “behind the scenes” content. They’re also realizing that the very nature of commercial production can be packaged as content unto itself — especially where celebrities and notable endorsements are concerned.

Teasing a big commercial especially around signature events such as the Super Bowl raises invaluable brand awareness and creates an event around advertising. Advertisers that can capitalize on social storytelling are setting themselves up for success. And a discerning audience of consumers willing to engage with smart content awaits them.