The Growing Urgency For Brands to Be More Memorable

Senior marketers from Allwyn, Cadbury, Müller and Primark discuss VCCP's "year of memory"

By Avnie Bansal

Advances in technology are thought to be weakening people's memories. With the world's information so readily available through portalble technology that is delivering search and AI services, there may be an impact on a reader's long-term recall abilities.

That is another challenge posed to marketers as they aim to trigger emotional responses and recall at the point of purchase for consumers.

That is why, for its first report in 'The Challenger Series' VCCP has explored the science behind the creation of a memorable ad campaign.

"The human brain is not designed to remember, it's designed to forget. The greatest brands understand this." Charles Vallance, founding partner and chairman of VCCP is quoted within the first report, named 'Cracking the Memory Code'.

But what do marketers think?

Sharing their thoughts during an Advertising Week Europe panel hosted VCCP's Clare Hutchinson, were senior marketers from Mondelēz International, Müller, Primark and Allwyn.

“There's a study that suggests that 75 per cent of brands could disappear tomorrow and nobody would even notice, care or worry about it, which is pretty damning for our industry," Hutchison explained in her introduction.

The panel shared their thoughts on what they believed makes an ad memorable, as well as their favourite examples from over the years.

Elise Burditt, senior director, Confectionary UK at Mondelēz International

For Elise Burditt, what makes the brand memorable are jingles.

“They just stick in your mind. You haven't heard a song in 20 years, and you still remember all the lyrics. You wonder why is it taking up space in my brain. But it does. I think what Coke has done with Christmas - that red cap and the white polar bear is so iconic.”

With Cadbury celebrating its 200 year anniversary this year, the company brought back, in a limited edition, the historical packaging of Dairy Milk in partnership with Alzheimer's Research UK.

"It was actually inspired by people writing to us as a brand and saying, 'Hey, can I get some images of your packaging? I want to share them with my loved one who has suffered from dementia and it helps them remember and gives them something to talk about,' Burditt continues.

According to her, the role of packaging and of repeated iconography can trigger memories has proven that it is important to be consistent in how brands are brought to life for consumers.

Talar El Asswad, marketing lead Treats & Desserts, Müller

Müller is 128 years old this year it is on a mission to restore its relevance as a brand that sees itself as a 'fabric of the nation'. For the marketing lead of Treats and Desserts, Talar El Asswad, what stands out the most from her childhood is music and jingles.

"They were such a thing as I was growing up and I could reel off hundreds of brands." She recalls famous campaigns such as Cadbury's Gorilla and the animated "Um Bongo" ads in particular from over the years.

Continuing to refer the Um Bongo ads, Asswad says, " [It's] super powerful in terms of triggering memory. I think the reason it's stuck with me is because it triggers a physical reaction. So it's not just the emotional reaction, it's the head popping or your foot tapping, encouraging you to sing along. And that's the kind of physical reaction that sticks with you over time."

Wendy Duggan, director of marketing, Primark

Wendy Dugan explains, while thinking back on the campaigns that have stuck in her memory that she liked "a good one-liner."

Sher continues: "The thing that struck with me was the power of community. I think today we deal with social reduction on our brands, but back then in the 80s and 90s, sitting around the couch and watching TV - we couldn't fast forward an ad, You had to wait for it to be seen. And that stuck out for me."

The ads she best recalls include the Guinness 'Dancing Man' ad and Jaffa Cake's 'Total Eclipse' campaign.

Steve Parkinson, brand and marketing director for National Lottery operator, Allwyn

Parkinson says that for him, memorable advertising is all about using emotional triggers and cites the need for longevity and consistency for brands to achieve that.

He continues, "Let's not forget the importance of a voice doing a good job... When I was a teenager, John Hurt was doing the voiceovers for the AIDS ads in the 80s. Good old government saying 'Don't die of ignorance' and these big sort of plinth icebergs were falling over. And as a kid [who was] kind of struggling with his sexuality, I wouldn't get out of bed, let alone get in somebody else's. So voiceovers trigger in lots of different ways."

Read more about the VCCP report and what it claims makes a memorable advert.


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