The Impact of Interactive Ads
None of us can precisely gauge the extent to which advertising boosts brand recognition and revenues. We can't tell whether magazine readers will notice an ad, nor can we measure an ad campaign's success, not if success means counting the number of readers who bought a product or used a service, or grew attached to a brand because they saw a certain ad.
But sometimes we just know. We see an ad that stands out like a tiger among tabby cats, and we tell others about it. Then they see the ad and tell their friends, and the ad creates a buzz of curiosity or even appreciation. And we can tell in a very unscientific way that the advertisers are likely to be happy with the results of the campaign.
"At the end of the day, what advertisers measure is sales," says long-time ad man Victor Basile. "If you have a huge ad or promotion campaign, and you increase the number of clients you have, or the number of products sold, you can directly attribute the results to the campaign."
Basile, vice president and director of print graphic services at Publicis in New York, one of agency Publicis USA's 11 U.S. offices, can attest to the amount of research and revision that goes into the choice of layout, colors, typefaces, laminates, UV coatings and other ad components.
He's aware of the many interactive options—pop-ups, scratch-and-sniff surfaces, sound chips, etc.—that supposedly make it easier to catch the reader's attention. He has used interactive components in successful ads for such products as Crest toothpaste and CorningWare. However, he and other people in the business know that the success of an ad isn't necessarily ensured by such components, or by any other elements.
"There are always factors that go into people's decisions to buy that can't always be accounted for," says Jim Poh, vice president of creative content distribution at Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CPB), a full-service advertising agency in Miami. "But if you think that you are doing things to make your brand more relevant and your sales are improving, it's a safe bet that your efforts are contributing to that success."