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Forrester analyst: Emotional campaigns will bypass ad-blocker in brains

NEW YORK ? A Forrester Research analyst at his company?s Forum for Marketing Leaders said brands need to deliver emotional messages to get past the ad blocker in the human brain, emphasizing mobile video?s power to create campaigns that have consumer relevance. 

To get noticed in the crowded mobile universe, marketers must combine the best digital use of data and targeting to reach a consumer who is interested in the product, the analyst said in a session, ?Where Will People See You?? Doing so enables the outreach to make it past the filter in the brain that evaluates content and decides if it is relevant.

?Just because it?s ubiquitous, doesn?t mean it?s mass,? said James Nail, principal analyst for Forrester Research, Boston. ?People need [campaigns] to be personal in order to pass that ad blocker in our brains.?

Video and image-based mobile experiences are expected to become more important in the years ahead due to younger consumers? preference for communicating via images, videos and gifs.

Hence the popularity of apps such as Snapchat, which enables users to take and send photos that erase within a few seconds.

Analyst James Nail at Forrester forum.

However, some marketers may be missing the mark by playing up technology to appeal to this group as opposed to building straightforward campaigns with a low barrier to entry and high emotional appeal.

Once reserved for short clips, big brands including General Mills and Pepsi are betting on full-length mobile video as consumers increasingly become more comfortable watching content on their smartphones and tablets.

Video is the way for brands to get the most out of television-heavy media buys. However, up until recently, marketers were limited to fitting full-length creative into mobile-friendly 15 and 30-second ads.

Brands need to look beyond TV programming, to influencers such as Bethany Mota, a fashion and lifestyle tips personality with 8.5 million YouTube subscribers, whose videos routinely garner 9 million to 10 million views.

?Not only is she building a big audience but the relationship she has with that audience is extremely powerful,? Mr. Nail said. ?When she makes recommendations on fashion, style, decorating and travel, her subscribers pay attention and really get that message.

?She?s so important that she was one of three YouTube celebrities that President Obama had a virtual press conference with back in February.?

In an example of how a brand linked itself to a hot trend to earn credibility with younger consumers, Hewlett-Packard had popular singer/songwriter Meghan Trainor show how she used the HP 360 laptop personal computer in the video the brand commissioned for her ?Lips Are Movin? single.

Going viral
On the heels of a viral first music video for Ms. Trainor, the new video attracted 2.5 million YouTube views in fewer than two days. It received positive reviews and was commended for its imagery.
Meghan Trainor video commissioned by Hewlett Packard.

?We?re seeing tremendous acceleration of adoption,? Mr. Nail said. ?Since Netflix launched in 2007, we?ve seen a steady progression of new services and products. In the last six months, companies like Comcast, Disney, and Nielsen made major acquisitions so they can stay relevant in this new world.
?So the time is now,? he said. ?This is going to happen much faster than we expected. Go back to your companies and start working on these video plans now.?

Final Take 
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York