Let Your Slogan Drive Your Media Buy

Ads that are placed contextually are more effective than neutral page placements. This, we know. If the ad creative itself is also specifically relevant to the page’s content, all the better. You’ll see an example of this now and then — ads so perfectly placed that they’re easily mistaken for editorial content.

This phenomenon is often due to the nature of the advertiser’s slogan. Frankly, it’s easy to overlook a client’s slogan while planning a campaign. Ad creative often isn’t finalized prior to the media strategy, and there are many other factors to consider when assessing potential ad placements that a little thing like a slogan can get lost in the shuffle.

Don’t let it. A slogan is more than a part of the ad creative; it embodies the advertiser’s brand image, product benefits, and key differentiators, and should influence media buying decisions.

Just think of the potential in some of these famous advertising slogans: GE’s “Imagination at Work;” LG’s “Life’s Good;” Samsung’s “Digitally Yours;” EA Games, “Challenge Everything.” With their double entendres, they’re just nebulous enough to apply to any number of site sections and content categories without compromising the need of these brands to reach their target audiences.

Jeep put its slogan to good use when it partnered with ABC’s “Lost” for a site placement that resonates with potential Jeep customers and the program’s fans alike. The brand is sponsoring the “Lost Theories” section of the site, where viewers can post their musings on the puzzling primetime show. The deal includes a rotating home page placement that features a co-branded ad linking to the “Theories” page.

Jeep’s slogan is, “Have fun out there.” Considering the plotline of the show, which has survivors of a commercial plane crash trying desperately to get off the island that’s become their makeshift home, the irony of the ad placement is amusing. It’s also extremely apt. “Have fun out there” is just what someone might say to a “Lost” fan who’s about to become engrossed in a new episode or sift through the countless theories on the show’s site. But the suitability of Jeep’s slogan doesn’t preclude a well-planned ad placement. Show images of rugged jungles and backwoods adventures mirror those customary in Jeep ad campaigns.

Throw in some custom ad creative, and you’ve got a memorable campaign. In banners running on the sponsored site section, site visitors see a deserted island beach not unlike that featured on the show, except this one is marred by tire marks. The copy that follows (“Lost is an opportunity”) straddles the brand’s emblematic messaging and the immediate interests of visitors to the “Lost” site.

In another version of the sponsorship creative, the Jeep logo is made to resemble that of “Lost” in the opening credits of the show. The copy reads, “Once you’re in, you’re hooked,” again playing up the brand and page context concurrently.

Could this ad placement have existed had Jeep’s slogan been less relevant to the subject matter of the site? Certainly. But it’s absolutely more engaging given that, unlike ad copy that varies from campaign to campaign, it’s already familiar to consumers. They know it well, and know what it’s intended to represent. The ad placement gives them the opportunity to see Jeep’s slogan in a different light. They’ll further associate it with the brand message of excitement and adventure that Jeep’s affiliation with “Lost” helps to solidify, but they’ll also affiliate it with “Lost,” and perhaps transfer some of their fervor for the show to the brand.

If you’re just starting to plan a new client campaign — heck, even if you’re about to launch one — ask yourself if putting a little more consideration into your client’s slogan might have affected your decisions. There might be a better media buy out there, one that highlights the slogan, brand, and key product differentiators without sacrificing audience reach or relevance.

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