Online ad industry aims to push brand building potential

digitalIAB UK has appointed agency group Unlimited to deliver an integrated insight and creative project to understand and shift perceptions towards digital advertising in an effort to attract more brand building budgets.

Led by Unlimited’s Human Understanding Lab, the team consists of Walnut Unlimited for research insight and testing, and TMW Business for creative strategy, planning and campaign activation. The first work will launch in spring 2022.

While investment in digital advertising continues to grow, it is widely used as a direct response channel rather than for brand building or driving advertisers’ longer-term objectives. This project will unearth how marketers genuinely feel about digital advertising and whether there is a deeper, more emotional barrier to a more nuanced use of digital.

The Human Understanding Lab will aim to better determine the relationship between advertisers and digital, targeting advertisers, agencies, commentators, and policymakers.

This will be addressed through a multi-layered research approach to get under the skin of advertisers in an effort to understand the subconscious drivers of digital media adoption.

Starting with a semiotic analysis of the industry’s current digital advertising narrative it will then use neuroscience to identify the implicit triggers that drive advertisers’ adoption of digital media, the agency insists.

AAR managed the pitch process.

IAB UK chief marketing officer James Chandler, said: “While digital is an essential and irreplaceable part of the vast majority of media plans, there is a pervasive narrative that digital can’t build brands or bring advertisers stories to life in the same way as other media.

“This project will allow us to interrogate that assumption, understand how marketers truly feel about digital and, ultimately, how we can reset established thinking and encourage advertisers to feel proud investing in digital. We know that Unlimited will be true partners in that process, with The Human Understanding Lab’s approach to understanding human behaviour allowing us to unlock the insight we’ll need.”

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