The changing face of advertising

22 March 2016

Advertising has played a key part in Remember A Charity’s behaviour change campaign.

Sandie O’Sullivan has worked with the consortium for over 10 years. In our latest blog she predicts what the future of advertising looks like for the charity sector.

Advertising is a medium that constantly evolves, with an unrelenting desire to find new ways to reach an ever-growing consumer marketplace.

But it’s not simply advertising that evolves. Consumer behaviour is changing too.

The growing digital-savvy marketplace has led to The Independent’s decision to move away completely from print. They will be the first national newspaper to do so.

This shift will surely propel the respected brand into the digital future. Owner Evgeny Lebedev claims “the newspaper industry is changing, and that change is being driven by readers.”

How will the changing marketplace affect the charity sector? Are charities allowing their advertising to be driven by their audiences?

Transitioning online

Without a doubt, the Internet has revolutionized the industry. Forty years ago, television was considered new media. Fifteen years ago, it was cable. Today, people spend increasing amounts of time online.

Just as newspapers are transitioning into online media outlets for survival, charities are learning to embrace online platforms to reach new supporters.

They are harnessing digital channels like social media for targeted advertising and generating shareable content, at a very low cost.

What does it feel like?

Over the next 10 years, advertising will move from communicating to predicting and emoting, based on human needs.

Without a doubt, we’re going to witness a shift from obsessing over what advertising looks like, to what it feels like. It has never been more important for charities to perfect their storytelling and tap into their audience’s emotions.

Putting the supporter at the heart of the messaging and making them feel a deep sense of responsibility will empower people to take action.

An unparalleled experience

Virtual reality (VR) is already big business but over the next few years it will become the business, simply because the experience is unparalleled.

How will charities use it?

Content and advertising will become so interlinked we won’t know which is which.

Virtual reality is helping charities immerse people in their cause and encourage them to consider how they can make a difference

This film from Unicef and the UN was taken out to members of the public, inviting them to experience life as a Syrian refugee. It was so powerful that donations to Unicef doubled.

Native advertising

The buzzword of the minute is “native” advertising. This is a form of advertorial, mainly online, matching the form and function of the platform upon which it appears.

In other words, people don’t always realise they are being advertised to.

Native advertising relies on charities producing more creative, quality ads which blur the lines between valuable content and promotion.

This will help to engage potential donors with content that feels authentic.

A solid human understanding

It is time for the sector to go where the audience, and revenue, can be found. They must utilize the technology that is available if they want to survive.

The average consumer is becoming harder to impress.

But armed with a solid human understanding, charities can make their mark over the next ten years of advertising.

Find out more about Remember A Charity’s campaigns

Sandie O’Sullivan, media director at BBVS