How to build brand fast with short-term success in TV ads

System1 and ITV reveal the secret to short-term TV ad impact for brands in new performance marketing report.

TV advertising’s ability to drive long-term brand building is undisputed, but when brands don’t have the luxury of time and budgets, how can they best harness their creatives for immediate short-term sales performance?

System1 and ITV revealed the key ingredients of TV adverts that achieve short-term performance marketing success, and have split them into right brain and left brain features.

The research is based upon System1’s predictive ‘Spike Rating’ that indicates short-term sales effect over the eight to 10 weeks after an advert has aired, derived from two factors: speed of branding and intensity of emotional response.

Ads with strong speed of branding but low emotional intensity tend to lean into performance and activation, and use left-brained features to strengthen product focus. Ads that generate high emotional intensity but low speed of branding tended to use right-brained features and employed familiarity, including a strong sense of place and familiar cultural references.

Ads that achieved both strong emotional intensity and fast speed of branding offered consistent narrative and messaging, embedded brand cues into humorous narratives and brought fluent devices to life. Previous System1 research revealed that such elements are beneficial for brand building, demonstrating the potential that short-term gains can also contribute to long-term effects.

System1 mapped 20,000 UK ads from their Test Your Ad platform to see where they sat in terms of these factors.

The five industry best practices for achieving both high emotional intensity and high speed of branding from the research are:

  • Use fluent devices, recurring and recognisable characters and scenarios, as they serve to both drive emotional intensity and brand awareness.

  • Utilise distinctive assets, which are particularly effective for a right-brained narrative.

  • Promote right-brained features (such as sense of place, humour and hummable music) which drive emotional intensity and help support long-term ad effectiveness.

  • Be consistent. Distinctive assets and fluent devices should be used regularly and consistently across different campaigns.

  • Use multiple features. Features that drive Spike don’t work in isolation, and the most effective Spike ads incorporate more than one feature.

“Achieving short-term sales success is a tricky tightrope to walk and is reliant on brands utilising both right and left-brained features,” said Jon Evans, Chief Customer Officer, System1.

“Employment of fluent devices and distinctive assets, generating emotional intensity through familiarity and other tactics such as humour can – when combined and consistently employed – help brands achieve a strong Spike Rating, and therefore boost the short-term impact of their ads.”