Last week our office was abuzz after seeing a new TV advertisement. Although based on a simple concept, it left those who saw it thoroughly transfixed. The brand in question had previously suffered from something of a negative reputation, yet in one 60-second clip, pre-caffeine frowns and grunts were turned into a chorus of excitable chat. Who needs coffee when you have the stimulus of an engaging TV advertising campaign?
OK, so caffeine is a vital ingredient for many a civilised human being, this one included. Yet, no matter how much coffee is consumed or interesting TV adverts are seen, this veil of civility is invariably and immediately ripped away by one invasive tactic known to every single person with a landline and/or mobile phone – cold calls.
A Lesson In How To Alienate Your Target Audience
Cold calling, also fittingly known as nuisance calling, has been firmly under the microscope over the past week, with companies that indulge in this most derided of practices now at risk of fines of up to £500,000. The problem with cold calling is its intrinsically sudden, invasive nature. Implemented as a supposedly cost-effective strategy to generate leads, cold calls succeed only in causing anger, frustration and even distress for the millions of UK adults targeted.
Research from Ofcom indicates that, over a month-long period, 82% of people with a landline phone will receive an average of 8.4 automated or live nuisance calls, whilst the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) claims to have received almost 40,000 complaints regarding cold calls in Q4 of 2014 alone. That’s a lot of potential customers now alienated.
Ultimately, nuisance calling cultivates zero rapport, zero trust and, consequently, no relationship between brand and consumer. Companies practicing this method of lead generation succeed only harming their own credibility and reputations. Whilst the short-term costs may be comparatively low (although call centres certainly aren’t cheap to run, even if overseas), the long-term cost on brand image can be hugely damaging.
Building Relationships, One TV Campaign At A Time
A well-produced TV advertisement provides businesses with an opportunity to tell their story; it supplies creative freedom and builds brand identity. At a time when the economic environment is nurturing the development of small business enterprises, personality is a crucial requirement in differentiating a brand from its competition.
Businesses who invest in creativity are investing in long term and sustainable growth. And what’s more, this investment is no longer prohibitive for anyone but the national corporations. For just a couple of thousand pounds, ambitious brands can create a TV advertisement that encapsulates the very heart of the business, communicating messages that – instead of distressing or enraging your potential customer base – inspire and entertain the 94.2% of the UK population that commercial TV reaches every week. Instead of blacklisting yourself from the party circuit, you’re making more friends than your diary can permit!
TV advertising in the 21st century has been fine-tuned to hit the right notes with smaller, socially aware businesses keen to make the most out of TV’s unmatched reach and scale, without breaking the bank. A cliché is only a cliché because of its status as a truth – albeit an overused one – and there is no bigger cliché milling through the corridors of TV land than the current cost-efficiency available in the market. New targeting technologies, analytical power, and multiscreen viewing habits have made it easier than ever before for businesses to reach specific audiences within tight budgets and actually engage them.
Nuisance calling no longer has – if indeed it ever did – a place within the 21st century climate of connected and discerning media consumers. Ultimately, if a brand is serious about growing its customer base, it must add something to said customer’s life – not take minutes off of it every month with cold, impersonal intrusions. TV advertising may still attract the ire of some, but its status as the most effective vehicle for emotive, individualised branding makes it the perfect platform to project brand personality.