The only certainty is uncertainty and the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees…

 

In the advertising environment you have to be able to substantiate every word you say and if you don’t then you can’t get your ad onto the TV screens.  If you run a press ad and even if just one person questions your claims or disagrees with what you say, the likelihood is that you will have to change your ad. 

So, here at AJ, we are finding it increasingly frustrating that the people running our country seem to have no such requirements to adhere to.  We’re days away from the due date to leave the EU and nobody seems any the wiser.  The ‘brightest minds in the country’ still can’t tell us what the consequences of leaving will be, either with a deal or without one – and the various parties can’t even agree among themselves.

So, what does it all mean?  Well, it’s a great time to be advertising in National Press! People are consuming more news now than ever, with many reading a wider variety of titles to get a fuller perspective on the range of thoughts and opinions out there – and so get closer to the truth.

If you can make your advertising budget stretch a little further – and have the flexibility to make things happen quickly – you should be able to see some positives out of this negative time.

Let’s get on with discovering what life is like outside of the EU and see what happens, surely it can only be better than this? And in the meantime, make the most of it while you can and if we can help you do so, all the better!

Quooker appoints Attinger Jack

We are very excited, and rather proud,  to have won the Quooker account for press & TV from September.

This is a real case of playing the long game – we first met with this client over four years ago and we have always felt that we could make a real difference to their business.

The appointment comes at an exciting and important time for Quooker,  coinciding with the launch of their incredible new product ‘The Cube’.  This includes new TV creative, the main objective of which is to both build the brand and drive sales through the retailers.  We also felt that there was a huge potential market in selling direct, something they currently do by default from their advertising rather than running a true DR campaign.

We’re looking forward to building a long, rewarding relationship and helping Quooker to grow their already very successful business even further.

Are you copy ready?

Leaving things to the last minute was always a weakness of mine,  as several long-suffering relatives in receipt of questionable Christmas presents can attest to . Unlike gift-giving, when it comes to buying space, leaving it late is an excellent strategy and one that can deliver the best deals.

But as last minute space does not always come in straightforward sizes you need to be prepared if you want to reap the rewards. Having the ability to quickly adapt your copy to suit, means you can get cheaper rates, prime sites and better ROI.

Most of our clients have the standard full page and half page creative, but as well as that we have 10 x 8 strips (perfect for the front page of the Telegraph), 20 x 2 (ideal for the solus site next to the crossword in The Times), half page vertical (often available facing matter in Stella), and 10 x 2’s (share squares).

Having an adaptable portfolio of varied sizes gives you flexibility and allows us to take advantage of any deals that come up (not just for those in the standard sizes)  thus giving you the most value from your media spend. This is real short term buying – often literally 30 minutes from the deadline, making the office a hive of activity and enterprise even at the end of the day and this outcome will add great value to any schedule.

Contrary to getting to the airport on time and thoughtful present-shopping, buying space stands alone in the category of things you can leave to the last minute – admittedly with the correct prep work, and the right team, working with you.

To learn more about the effectiveness and the impact of holding a range of sizes, contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or email lesley@aja.co.uk.

In it to win it

Competitions are a great way to boost the volume of your customer database.

Everyone loves to win – perhaps it’s an evolutionary trait hardwired into our animal nature as part of the survival of the fittest concept. The growth of civilization has seen a prize change from first dibs on prey into usually a monetary bounty, yet the attraction of winning is as great for us as it was for our prehistoric ancestors. So how can you use this innate desire to win to further your business?

The introduction of GDPR and the resulting spotlight on email communication saw many clients’ databases take a hit – as did the media owners’ – resulting in a severe decline in the volume available to target by email.

Online competitions are a great way of adding volume to your database, with opted-in data. For a prize value of about £500 you can often get thousands of entries (approx 15% will be opted in) which you can then add to your database.  We have also found that a good runners-up prize, such as a robust discount or offer, can be extremely effective, with a really strong conversion rate. Ultimately, the benefit of offering a competition is that you can create volume of opted-in data in a short space of time that can be garnered and made profitable very quickly.

To learn how AJ can make you feel like you’re winning again, contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or email lesley@aja.co.uk

Targeting the mature market but not on TV yet?

If you are spending monthly budgets for £25k+ in newspapers & magazines with products that target the mature market then TV is a great addition to your schedule.

The 65+ market are high consumers of daytime TV, so how can you tap into this potentially lucrative audience?

As always we take a considered and results-driven approach. We can see what’s working with an initial learning phase, at low risk to you, by carefully selecting the right channels from the wide variety of channels available. Application of this knowledge is vital if you want to make your budget work as effectively as possible.  The programming in daytime is low engagement so response rates are higher, and due to the wide variety of channels available you can select the channels with lower viewing figures to make it low risk during the learning phase.

Many agencies buy TV as a package of channels, the sales house bundles channels together and you agree a budget across these channels, but they can weight the delivery by channel to suit their inventory.  This is fine for branding and products with a very broad audience, but if you are going for a niche audience (like 65+) then there is too much wastage for this approach to be efficient.

For example the UKTV channels would include Drama, Alibi, Yesterday, Home, Really, Gold, Eden (all good for 65+) but also Goodfood, W, Dave (not good for 65+) – the same would be true of the Sky packages. By selecting only the top ranking channels you increase the chances of success and maximise your audience. AJ’s strategy ensures that the budget works to suit your business, not the agendas of the sales houses.

Adults 65+ view TV mainly in a comfort, unwind or In Touch state

The states typified by the 65+ audience and indeed the programming within them, are conducive to response; for comfort and unwind they are in relax mode, the content is low engagement and easy to view and for In Touch it is news, current affairs and documentaries – again programmes that are easy to interrupt and to act on an ad.

In contrast, the higher states for a younger audience are distract and indulge, which include series and movies which are highly engaging.

Target Channel Group … A65+ IMPACTS (R/W) A16+ IMPACTS (R/W) Proportion of 65+ viewers
A65+ Total 69,619,061.02 196,041,963.86 35.5%

The stats above show the % of viewing impacts that are 65+ as 35%, the 65+ population is 23% therefore there is a positive index of 152 so a very strong market to get targeting through this medium.

Attinger Jack can help you approach TV on a low-risk, test basis. Every channel on your schedule would be chosen purely to deliver the best results for your business and not for any other reason.

 

 

AJ’s Print Challenge is on

A writer’s job is almost done with a headline like that, who could resist such an offer?

You may not think to come to AJ when you’re looking to save money on print, but we can deliver great results in this area.

AJ is well known for our press and late space buying but we also buy large volumes of print through our insert and door-drop programmes. Through our insert work we’ve found it’s crucial to keep on top of print prices. Our experience has taught us that using the same company time after time tends to result in service declining and prices rising. If this sounds familiar we can help.

At AJ we’re increasingly helping our clients with their print requirements.  Many clients will send us their print brief and we’ll pass it on to our network of a few trusted printers, who always deliver in terms of product and price.

We understand how a small price increase can affect the bottom line and we strive to make every penny count, regardless of where it’s spent. So, let us know next time you have a print requirement. We’ll send on the same brief to our printers, as you do to yours, to ensure a direct comparison.  In the rare event we don’t save you money, you’ll still have peace of mind that you’re getting the best deal possible, and a glass of Champagne in your hand. Win, win!

We’re currently offering a bottle of Champagne to the first 5 people to send in their quote, regardless of the outcome.

Challenge AJ to get you a better deal – contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or email lesley@aja.co.uk.

A fresh look with an eye on the budget

AJ and Aquability have an 18-year working relationship, which has seen great success for the client over the years. Recently, AJ have been helping them update their image.


Aquability’s last photoshoot took place in 2010, a year when the word Brexit meant nothing to most of us, a time before Andy Murray had won Wimbledon and since then over 6 different iPhone models have become the new ‘must-have’ item. It is understandable then that the imagery used in their press ads was fatiguing. Realising this, AJ had been lobbying with Aquability for a review of their customer recruitment photography.

In December 2018 Aquability commissioned AJ to prepare for a photoshoot to support national press and other marketing collateral. AJ were also asked to prepare a proposal to shoot footage for an online sales video to support a new Walk in Shower.

During the proposal preparation for the video, AJ discussed with the client the opportunity to optimise its cost and recommended that Aquability also shot some extra footage to enable the creation and edit of a TVC. AJ prepared costs for with and without the TVC but the evident cost advantage in shooting both at the same time really appealed to the client. AJ’s initiative effectively saved the client 73% by shooting both projects together.

The photography and film shoot were a great success and our client is extremely happy with the outcome. This Spring will see a host of fresh looks for Aquability: new Press Ads are live, and the Sales Team’s video and TVC are soon to be completed.

To learn more about how AJ can inject a fresh energy into your ads contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or email lesley@aja.co.uk.

The Power of TV Advertising in Four Charts

In the age of Digital Media, with all its online sources and playback TV, you may think advertising on live TV isn’t the force it once was. Although live TV competes with these different avenues of entertainment, it remains an extremely powerful medium.

The following Thinkbox charts highlight the significant reasons for this and when combined with test budgets that range from £20K to £40K, it is a low risk, manageable and of course accountable strategy. There has never been a better time to test TV. Despite competition from online and other streams of advertising, TV has the lion’s share of ad viewing time with a dominant 95%.

In terms of how adults spend their ‘media day’, no other medium comes close to TV, with TV being over 1/3 of the average adult consumption – this compares to press at 3% and magazines at 1%!

Not only does TV command the top spot in ad viewing time but it is also shown to be the most enjoyed form of advertising. Unlike online ads, which consumers can feel to be intrusive and cold, TV ads are seen as positive and can be more emotive. For this reason avoidance is low and it also means you have far more control over the information you wish to pass on to the consumer – you can’t make them read certain aspects of your ad, or even look at it in the newspaper,  but having someone’s attention for 30/60/90 seconds is something that is hard to replicate with any other medium in a positive way.

 

Finally let’s talk profitability. TV is highly efficient and according to research carried out by Thinkbox it delivers a stronger ROI than all other mediums.  One of the reasons TV is so effective is because it has the highest headroom for spend –you can deliver more volume on TV, because of its scale and popularity, before your spend becomes inefficient.

To explore how AJ can take your business to the next level contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or email lesley@aja.co.uk.

The results speak for themselves

At AJ we base our whole business model around attribution and our clients’ results prove how effective this approach is.

When we start working with a client, we strongly encourage them to take this philosophy on board. To unlock the full roll-out potential of print media, it is crucial to have a strong understanding of where your sales come from. This understanding is garnered directly from results and assumptions of customer habits can hinder this process.

We started working with Charles Tyrwhitt last year and though they were well experienced in offering discount codes, we felt that obstacles were created for their customers in the way these codes were used in their ads. They had a mechanism in place which required consumers to type in a unique URL to access their offers. The thought process was that the customer would have saved the ad with the URL. However, we believed this was causing them to miss out on orders. We felt this was purely because the majority of customers would actually use Google Search to find Charles Tyrwhitt, which would instead take them to the homepage and therefore not allow access to the offers.

After suggesting a different approach to Charles Tyrwhitt, they agreed to test a code at checkout via the main site and the results now speak for themselves. Times Magazine sales increased by a whopping 415%. Metro sales also saw a phenomenal growth, up by 375%. These results have now put press firmly back on the plan for Charles Tyrwhitt in 2019.

To hear more about how AJ’s insights can deliver serious gains, contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or email lesley@aja.co.uk.

 

A picture is worth a thousand words

Time is short. On average, we spend 2-3 seconds looking at a print ad. It’s longer than we give digital ads, and we’re more likely to see ads when they’re in print than online, but our haste sets advertisers a challenge.

Eye-tracking research shows that unless searching for a specific product, a reader is more likely to look at the picture first.  Using the right image is therefore fundamental to an ad’s success. The AJ creative team’s expertise in image selection underlines its importance in boosting sales. Here are a couple of pointers:

Match people and setting to your target market

We often choose images including models to attract attention and offer relevance and empathy. Many of our clients produce age-based, needs-driven products so the ads need to feature realistic models of a suitable demographic. Using imagery that speaks to your target audience is vital.

Make product shots clear

Product shots must make the product and its features clear – don’t lose it among the clutter of its setting. Framing, composition and lighting, alongside visibility, are key to showing a product at its best.

AJ has widespread experience in delivering top quality photography. We work with a small selection of photographers, each specialising in different areas, offering a range of expertise to suit our clients’ requirements. If you need to outsource photography or looking for a fresh approach, we can help.

Stock images offer an alternative to commissioning photography when your time or budget is limited. There is a range of options available, with royalty-free imagery and rights-managed options. Quality and cost varies, so AJ can advise on what’s right for you and help you source what’s required. Our experienced studio team can also work with purchased images and successfully ‘comp’ your product into royalty free shots, thereby providing a perfect image.

Traditional stock libraries, such as Getty, offer a variety of images with better technical quality. They can offer the ideal solution when you are looking for very specific images, perhaps featuring a specialist subject or product, or when you need better editorial standout. These higher standards come at a price, particularly for rights-managed images priced per insertion, so can be a great solution as long as you have the budget to match.

In contrast, microstock image libraries, such as iStock, are ideal for sourcing low cost multiple shot options. The libraries are extensive so are ideal if you’re looking to use different shots for different media, e.g. press ads and brochures, or testing a range of images. Ease of use, accessibility and the lower cost of microstock image libraries can come at the expense of quality; editorial standards are not as high and technical standards can vary considerably. Lower cost inevitably increases use so you risk seeing your chosen image elsewhere, reducing your exclusivity.

Whichever way you source images, the message is clear. Don’t say it, show it. Billboard ads, the ultimate time-pressured attention seekers, have been described as a punch in the face. Print ads are similar – you have two seconds to deliver your right hook – and we’re here to help you deliver the knock out blow.

Contact Lesley Bowman on 01225 758222 or email lesley@aja.co.uk to learn more about how AJ’s creative expertise can help you.