Campaign UK

Change ads or risk be­ing ig­nored, brands warned

- By Gemma Charles

Vul­ner­a­ble con­sumers are more likely to as­sume that ad­ver­tis­ing is not rel­e­vant to them and re­quire cam­paigns de­vel­oped specif­i­cally to com­bat their ten­dency to block out mar­ket­ing, a new re­port by Smart En­ergy GB has warned.

The re­port comes as mar­keters and agen­cies’ knowl­edge of their cus­tomers comes un­der scru­tiny fol­low­ing the shock Brexit vote and Don­ald Trump elec­tion vic­tory in the US.

Smart En­ergy GB, which is charged with rolling out smart me­ters across Bri­tain, has made a se­ries of rec­om­men­da­tions for tar­get­ing hard-tore­ach groups.

The re­port states that vul­ner­a­ble au­di­ences are less likely to re­gard pub­lic en­gage­ment cam­paigns as rel­e­vant to them when they do not seem to be “reach­ing out to them as an in­di­vid­ual” and are more likely to be re­sis­tant to be­hav­iour change.

“There is some­times a cor­re­la­tion be­tween groups which have not yet en­gaged with a cam­paign by tak­ing ac­tion and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties,” it adds.

The re­port sug­gests adopt­ing “spe­cific vis­ual styles and text which ex­plic­itly ad­dress the au­di­ence in ques­tion”.

Us­ing metaphor and anal­ogy as a cul­tural short­hand were cau­tioned against. “Align­ing vis­ual im­agery and mes­sag­ing in a clear and lit­eral way can be key to en­sur­ing vul­ner­a­ble au­di­ences are will­ing (and able) to pay at­ten­tion,” the re­port states.

Cam­paigns fea­tur­ing celebri­ties and ex­perts tend not to res­onate with vul­ner­a­ble groups. The re­port in­stead rec­om­mends es­tab­lish­ing “se­lected mar­ket­ing part­ner­ships” with third­sec­tor and vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Vul­ner­a­ble au­di­ences men­tioned in the re­port in­clude non-english speak­ers, dis­abled peo­ple, older peo­ple, the un­em­ployed and low-earn­ers.

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