Television advertising is a funny one.
I’m sure those of you who watch TV during the day will attest to some of the dross that’s aired in the advert breaks. And those of you with young children are now probably shaking your heads in despair as you recall the adverts that hawk toys to your offspring.
However it still consumes a huge proportion of marketing budgets with spend exceeding £4.9 billion in 2014 (including broadcaster video-on-demand services), second to digital in total spend.
Nowadays brands have to be a little different for their TV adverts to really get traction. It’s why John Lewis have previously booked whole ad breaks to launch their Christmas campaigns. 2013 was aired during X Factor on ITV, while 2014 Channel 4 won the battle and premiered the ad during Googlebox. Their aim is to start conversations on social media and generate huge amounts of earned publicity.
With that kind of thinking, iZettle, a Swedish mobile payments company, has launched a crowd-sourced marketing campaign to hand half the time in its 30 second spots to seven customers. Each advert will feature one of its customers, using their submitted footage, who tell us a little bit about them and what they do. Six of these adverts will be chosen by an iZettle jury, but the final spot will be the winner of a public vote. iZettle has opened entries via its minisite where you can vote for your favourite.
As an example of what can be achieved, iZettle’s has produced its current run of adverts with some of its customers. These have included the Belpassi Bros and Emma Cornes. Clearly they have decent production values, but they give other businesses an example of what can be achieved in just 15 seconds. Effectively these are not just iZettle adverts, they’re customer testimonials.
Customer testimonials are commonplace in B2B and B2C, aimed at persuading prospects to convert. We rely on them heavily in ecommerce and travel, to reinforce an existing opinion or, sometimes, become a driver that changes our minds. According to Econsultancy, 61% read reviews before making a purchase and 63% are more likely to make a purchase from a site with user reviews. Even bad reviews have an impact, as customers trust these sites more as they seem honest.
In instances like iZettle’s marketing, we trust the brand as we’re seeing it in action with real customers. And, unlike generic actors or nondescript surveys, we can search and find these brands online or go visit them if we live nearby.
Alongside the testimonial angle, the idea to encourage customers to submit their own advert is a great example of crowd-sourced marketing. It increases interest in the brand as the customers look to raise their profile in the competition and therefore generate votes. It becomes their time to shine, on a advertising medium that is likely to be out of their typical financial reach.
So good luck to all the entries, although I’ve decided to vote for Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium. Cats and cake, what’s not to like?