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On trimming your dog’s nails, heart rate monitors and captivating advertising

Craig Wallis, Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop

We are all aware of the fact that we get bombarded with hundreds of advertisements every day courtesy of our exposure to numerous media.

Just this morning I was on Pinterest reading a post on, “How to trim your dog’s nails.” (Yup, a real first world issue). Scrolling through it, I was amazed at the number of ads that literally “infested” the article.

I counted 16 ads that were in the 834 word article, which was three A4 pages long (yes, I checked – I copied the article to Word and came up with those stats). If I used this blog as an example, it means that you would have been exposed to two full adverts by the time you get to the end of this sentence.

To me, this is clutter of the highest order.

Little wonder that I gloss over mobile ads every day of my life.

I had to have a giggle at the re-targeting I got from an online retailer recently. I bought a heart rate monitor (thanks Discovery Miles!) and lo and behold the same retailer peppered me over the next few days with heart rate monitor ads… were they hoping that I would buy a second one as I have two wrists?

What a waste of ad spend.

Having spoken about the advertising clutter that I encounter, I need to highlight two gems that CAPTIVATED me. And I mean that literally…

I always rant (and lament) about how many advertisers just do not get creative right for Digital Out Of Home screens.

Every morning on the school run, I drive past a large roadside digital screen. As I am invariably stationary at the traffic light, I have time to critique the ads that are being flighted. I must admit that it is not often that I am impressed by the quality of the creative.


I was amazed (AND totally captivated) by a Woolworths ad on this screen. They were promoting their rotisserie chickens.

Why was I captivated by it? Firstly, the videography was exceptional. The HD visuals of the roast chicken just oozed succulence. Barely had my cereal gone “snap, crackle, and pop” in my gut and here I was ready to eat some clearly delicious chicken.

The second thing that Woolies got right, is that all the while the chicken visuals and messaging mesmerised me, they PERMANENTLY had their “W” logo as well as “Woolworths” in the top corners of the screen. So few advertisers do not utilise this essential awareness tactic on their DOOH ads. If I have a two second glance up at the screen whilst driving past, I immediately know that I can buy that chicken at Woolies.

So, in two seconds Woolies would have pulled the ultimate “advertising job” on me. Kudos

My other venue where I do my best to “skip this ad,” is my go-to source of entertainment, namely YouTube. I go to great lengths to ensure that my remote’s cursor is over the “Skip Ad” button so that I can do just that. I am mostly very successful in only being exposed to the ad for a few seconds before my next Jonathan Pie/Trevor Noah/John Oliver episode captures my attention.

I was on YouTube a couple of nights ago, AND THEN IT HAPPENED!!!

I was immediately taken by the content in the pre-roll for a Pratley’s ad. Just like Woolies did, they piqued my interest in a flash with their content and visuals. I was fascinated by their new product called Frogz Eggz. This name, in relation to Pratley’s (Putty) jarred with me, so I was immediately interested in finding out the connection. They also showed the unique properties of the “eggs,” and this too had me riveted to the screen.

What a fascinating DIY product. I watched the whole ad very willingly as I was really being educated. And, imagine to my surprise, the very next ad served to me was a different Frogz Eggz ad which showed me another practical use for this product. (FYI it is a hand mouldable plastic product).

I watched three of their ads. Well done PratleySA!!!

I even went on to their website to learn more about this interesting product. I was not disappointed with their website either. Lots of info and tips were easily accessible. I will definitely be buying some Eggz on my next trip to Builders Warehouse. I guarantee you that very soon it will solve a few DIY issues around my home.

You will thank me… and as John Robbie always used to say, “tell them I sent ya.”

So, just as I have become rather jaded with digital ads; I discovered two gems (at last!).

So the motto of the story is that if you want to get someone’s attention in this day and age, then you HAVE to make sure that your ad is relevant, creative, intriguing, entertaining and informative. If not, then it is meaningless, and will not break through the clutter.

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