advertising moments

Moments are happening all around us.

Last summer, Facebook released their Moments app. This year Google’s Micro Moments have been on every CMO’s mind. Our big brother company even wrote about how to reach customers in the micro-moments. This fall, Spotify released their new branded moments, vertical video ads. New research by AOL suggests advertisers are going to continue looking to emotional ‘moments’ to influence consumers. Meaning, these advertising moments have just begun.

We’re officially declaring the word ‘Moments’ as the 2017 buzzword of the year!

As an industry, we’ve transitioned from storytelling to sharing a moment with someone. A personal, feel-good, shareable, memorable moment that (we hope) truly motivates someone.

With shrinking attention spans (you’ve heard the goldfish comparison), marketing becomes less about telling a story and more about creating an experience for someone. Yes, a moment.

Brands small and large are interested in creating moments. Moments in traditional advertising, through well-timed digital interactions and in physical real-world settings.

We champion these experience-rich moments.

“At Pepsi, we’re always looking for ways to create fun, shareable moments for our fans […],” said Stacy Taffet, Sr. Director of Marketing, Pepsi, in a recent press release.

Pepsi’s VP of Cultural Connections, Adam Harter, delivered the keynote speech at this year’s Experiential Marketing Summit. Pepsi continually pushes the creative boundaries to design fan experiences that drive emotional reactions – and consumer action.

User-generated content is a significant component to these moments. Someone tweets about a moment in their life that is enhanced by a brand. An experience attendee posts a picture or video from an activation. A brand advocate shares in real-time when they’re using a product or service. These influential moments create buzz in an authentic way.

Advertising needs to be about more than just exposure – being seen at the right time in the right place – to influence a consumer journey. Marketers need to create relevant connections, the warm and fuzzy kind, that an audience will really feel and remember.

To design a brand experience, consider what it takes to evoke excitement, engagement and esteem. The moment must fulfill the experiencer in a unique, useful or informative way. Beyond entertainment, a branded moment must be meaningful in some small (or large) way.

American Express topped the 2016 Ex Awards list with their 2015 US Open Activation. This was the world’s first hydro-interactive tennis experience projected onto a 40-by-6o-foot water curtain. “The experience focused on service and loyalty building rather than lead acquisition and data collection,” writes Sandra O’Loughlin in this Event Marketer article. Audience members and tennis stars, as well as celebrity guests, were invited to play quick matches on a pop-up tennis court that featured gamification content like a giant video game. American Express generated participation in this tennis-relevant experience for fans attending the US Open.

Bill Betz, Delta’s general manager of marketing communications for the East region, was recently quoted: “It’s about aligning ourselves with moments in time that New Yorkers care about.” Delta Air Lines created an experiential tie-in to one of the city’s largest events: TCS New York City Marathon. This well-timed activation spotlighted the brand simultaneously as NY City runners were creating a special memory. That’s powerful positioning.

Brands will discontinue the product-centric speak. Instead, they will focus on promoting special moments. Ads will feature the moments that people experience when a brand or product is part of their lives. (Mark my words, we’re going to see a rise of moment-related ads and hashtags in great proportions next year.)

TalkTalk, a telecom company in the UK, filmed a family for two weeks to uncover unscripted moments of everyday life. They then used this footage to write ads in an effort to connect with real people around these common moments.

“This is a very brave, completely unprecedented campaign, which proves that the small, humble moments of everyday life have as much power to capture our imaginations and move us as do the big, glossy, aspirational scenes of traditional advertising,” CHI creative partner Micky Tudor was quoted in AdWeek.

We know that 65% of shoppers say that personal experience is the most important factor affecting a brand’s image and that 90% of purchases are based on emotion (source: Path to Purchase Institute). If marketers can precipitate the personal experience and emotional association with a brand through moment-making, a brand can grow their customer base and overall brand love.

A whopping 74% of us are more likely to make a purchase after participating in a branded experience (source: 2017 Event Track).

Experiential moments are at the intersection of emotional appeal and rational advantage.

In another AdWeek article from June, Afdhel Aziz, head of Absolut Labs, said, “Every brand needs to start thinking about how to create experiences, whether they are digital experiences or physical experiences that are really either delightful or useful. […] Brands need to work harder in order to create moments of engagement.”

When there were less content and less competition, advertisers could mass blast messages about product benefits and features. Newsflash: we’re not living in the 90s anymore. Advertising has to evolve to the new terms of society. Terms that demand personal experience, tailored-to-me content and these crucial moments in time. Advertisers need to find new ways to connect with their audience. Marketers must find ways to prove how the brand makes us feel, what values that brand has and what experiences it can create for each user.

That’s why marketers are talking about moments. Stealing a moment with someone. Enhancing someone’s moment. Becoming a moment. Delivering a moment. Celebrating a moment.

An excerpt from an AdAge article by Saul Colt and Bob Knorpp helps to drive this idea of moment creation home. “When you add something for people to see, hear, taste and do at the forefront of your messaging, you are creating a positive memory that is much more powerful than an ad alone. It becomes a moment in time that participants will enthusiastically remember and talk about. And, it’s a heart-felt connection to your brand that will make consumers more receptive to your messaging every time they see your ads in the future.”

These moments – and the memories of these experiences – will help enhance and reinforce all future messaging an audience sees from a brand.

Advertising moments in 2017 will be…everywhere.

If you’re interested in moment-making for your brand in 2017, please say hello.