We all like to think of ourselves as autonomous individuals, making independent choices, in control of our lives. That is no less true when we enter the digital world. We like to know that we choose what we look at and what we share, that we make proactive choices to interact with specific services, and in particular, that we initiate any interaction with brands. And the more hands-on we are with that interaction – particularly through touch – the more we feel in control and trust towards that brand.
Ethnographic research was recently conducted in Berlin, Germany, with families who were given a variety of Windows 8 devices (PCs, tablets and phones) to play with for two weeks. At the end of this period Anna Kirah, Chief Experience Officer at Making Waves, assessed how these devices integrated into their daily lives and their potential for advertising.
The study showed it is critical that advertisers put the consumer first in their approach to digital advertising. A consumer’s attention is a commodity and to engage it, brands need to make their advertising relevant (both the content and context) and make it inviting to the consumer so they initiate connection. What creates initiation? The desire to experience.
If a digital advertisement offers an experience to a consumer in a relevant context he is more likely to initiate the interaction with that brand. And if that experience is an artistic one - stimulating the senses, pleasing to the eyes and ears - he or she will enjoy the experience and it will create an impression. Additionally, if the experience presents information in a way that also entertains (info-tainment), the consumer will both enjoy and learn - which as we all know from our school days, is what leads to the greatest retention of information. A connection is made, the brand is communicated and the first step in a longer-term relationship between the consumer and the brand has begun – all because the consumer chose to involve himself and has been rewarded by the experience.
Here at Microsoft this is just the kind of ad experience we are creating with our partners.
One example is the Windows 8 Ads in Apps prototype developed by BMB in the USA for All Saints clothing, which proved highly engaging to one family in Berlin. You can see their “That’s nice, very entertaining advertising” reaction to the experience in the short film above. The concept itself and others can be viewed here.
This study showed that consumers value entertaining, useful and relevant advertising on Windows 8 devices, particularly if they are touch-enabled. To experience Microsoft’s advertising for yourself you can join me in our experience centre at our stand (Halle 8, C51-D50) here in Cologne at dmexco, the largest digital exhibition in the world. And if you are not coming to dmexco, you can always follow all the action on Twitter @MSAdvertisingEU.
Director at Microsoft Germany.