2nd June 2021
Are you making the most of characters in your marketing campaigns?
As part of a recent white paper published by Born Licensing, a licensing agent focused solely on fictional characters in advertising, a survey asked UK respondents who they most like seeing in an advertisement: fictional characters, musicians, celebrities or sports stars.
Freddy Flintoff, look away now…
Fictional characters came out as the most popular choice across every demographic segment with 38% of the vote. This works out as 73% more than celebrities and 111% more than sports stars.
However, only 1% of ads shown between 2018 and 2020 featured a fictional character, suggesting they are largely under-utilised in advertising despite a demand being there.
This surprised us here at Silver – we love our characters. Over the years we’ve created a whole cast of colourful characters in the B2B space, all of them playing key roles in delivering campaign success for our clients.
Here are just a few benefits of using characters in marketing and some of the character-led campaigns we’ve produced.
Making complex topics simple
Marketing in the B2B technology space often requires complex topics to be distilled to their simplest form for marketing. Characters are a fantastic way to achieve this, especially when animated.
The Science of Storage series was created to help Dell Technologies educate data centre managers, often confused by conflicting industry messages, on the myths surrounding data storage.
By focusing on two relatable characters throughout the series, Steve and Archie, we developed their personalities and built an emotional connection with viewers. Complex topics were covered throughout the series with conversational dialogue and using plenty of relatable examples to simplify the messages.
The series was a huge success, winning Content Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Computing Tech Marketing & Innovation Awards 2020.
Consistency across comms
Using the same characters across your campaigns brings a consistency and builds brand awareness over time.
This was the case with our Change the Game campaign for Boomi. By featuring Bee – their already popular astronaut character – in our animated video series, we built on the emotional connection that already existed with the character.
It also gave our team a creative anchor for the series concept, building a strong campaign that successfully educates IT managers on the benefits of modernised middleware for their businesses.
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, data analytics. The more technology advances, the more difficult it can become to help the audience understand how it works and the benefits to them.
To communicate the benefits of Cloud IQ to Dell Technologies customers, Silver created an animated video featuring a team of fun IQ robots that live and work inside a company’s data centre. Their day-to-day tasks presented the features and benefits of Cloud IQ in a simple, human and memorable way.
Personality your audience can relate to
If the audience can see themselves in the character, you’re onto a winner.
To promote the benefits of Dell Technologies’ Partner Program to their channel partners, Silver created a charismatic adventurer, Scout Wilder, to encourage partners to explore the wealth of resources available to help them power their sales and marketing efforts.
By making Scout positive, adventurous and curious, the ‘Partner Pursuits’ campaign was successful in getting partners to go and explore the benefits themselves.
Plans are already in place to feature our favourite explorer in more upcoming campaigns and initiatives Dell Technologies, so watch this space!
Meet the demand
There are so many benefits to featuring engaging, relatable and unique characters in your campaigns, one of the most compelling being the demand from customers. Perhaps for your next campaign it’s time to give the people what they want. Sorry, Freddy…