Everybody Wants Brand Awareness - 5 Tactics to ACTUALLY Get It

By Bill Raymond, EVP & Managing Partner

Every day, people encounter hundreds of ads from multiple media sources. According to Permission Marketing, consumers are exposed to an average of 48 ads per hour every day. Is it any wonder why it’s difficult to cut through the clutter and create memorable advertising that consumers remember?


When brands are memorable, they achieve measurable sales uplift. Nielsen’s research confirmed that the more memorable the brand, the stronger the sales result. Several tactics, like direct response and longer ad formats, can connect with viewers to drive brand awareness.


Here are some techniques that work.


Direct Response Marketing

The best direct response (DR) marketing works on multiple levels. It can drive conversions while helping to establish brand awareness. Additionally, DR marketing can increase engagement by motivating users to visit a website, make a call, purchase at retail or send an SMS message. When customers actively engage with a brand, awareness, and retention improve.


Another benefit of DR marketing is that it allows brands to measure attribution for their television advertising. With DR, brands know exactly which ads drive viewers to take action and understand which actions lead to sales.

Compelling Creative Elements

Some of the best ads use creative elements to tell a story, ensuring that the brand and its benefits linger in viewers’ memories. Here are some powerful ways to make your brand and benefits stick.


Brand cues: Give viewers clear audio and visual messages to help them identify the brand, such as company name, logo, tagline, product label, or signature sound.


Brand icons: Develop a signature image, motif, or character to build a strong connection between viewers and the brand. AT&T has done this effectively with its spokesperson Lily. Whether you love brand icons or hate them, at least you remember them meaning these campaigns deliver results.


Memorable messages: Use short phrases or slogans to make your brand memorable, but refine them as the brand and its offerings evolve. An excellent example of this tactic is Olive Garden. Over the years, the restaurant brand has used several catchphrases to promote its ambiance (“When You’re Here, You’re Family”) and signature menu offerings (“Never Ending Pasta Bowl”).


Consistency: Be consistent in your branding and messaging. While you can change your creative approach and offers, consistency in look and feel — combined with good frequency — is the cornerstone of an effective brand-building strategy.

National Reach

Many brands assume they should focus on smaller or regional markets to make the most of their advertising investment. However, national advertising can provide the strongest result by reaching more people with a lower overall CPM. Statista reports that an estimated 122.4 million US homes have televisions. That means a single ad can reach the homes of millions of viewers, with repeated ads building brand recognition across a broad audience.


To build brand awareness, you need sufficient reach and frequency for any message. Television is still the single best medium to drive large-scale brand awareness.

Longer Ad Lengths

Brands often shy away from longer ads, such as two-minute, three-minute, or five-minute spots. However, don’t be afraid of the higher cost of creative length and higher cost per ad length, as these ad lengths can work incredibly well for products that have mass appeal, are easy to understand, and have a four-to-one markup. Many well-known brands such as Shark/Ninja, Meaningful Beauty, Humana and P90X have utilized longer ad lengths to build their brands to much success.


Many brands benefit from more time to tell their story and build a 1:1 relationship with viewers. With 30-minute ads, brands can provide educational content or foster emotions that help viewers develop stronger connections with the brand. Often, these long ads offer strong calls-to-action (CTAs) to motivate people to make a call or visit a website to buy the advertised products.


Longer ad lengths also provide more time to explain the key selling benefits of a product, utilize testimonials to help consumers identify with the product benefits, and build higher perceived value, all leading to an impulse action. The more time you have with a consumer, the more memorable your brand becomes.


Longer ads offer a unique opportunity to reach viewers through channels’ programming guides. Once upon a time, when purchasing a 30-minute ad spot, it would fall under the “Paid Programming” queue. Realizing that this was a huge missed opportunity to hook an audience and capture viewers’ attention, Cannella Media launched the Direct Response Listing (DRL).  This allowed brands to include an advertising-specific listing and description in the electronic programming guide instead of being lumped into a generic, nondescript, and easily ignorable “Paid Programming” block. As a result of DRLs, consumers can see the listing and become familiar with the brand, even if they don’t watch the ad.

Build Brand Awareness, Drive Sales

Why should brands use these advertising approaches? According to Nielsen, 75% of consumers cannot correctly identify a brand or an ad 24 hours after exposure. Even a well-crafted commercial isn’t effective if viewers can’t associate it with the advertiser.


Using these approaches consistently will help create a memorable brand that builds brand awareness and drives sales.