Brand Messaging Evolution

A journey through time, space, and copy

PROJECT NAVIGATION
Defining & Selling Programmatic Display
Sophos Marketing's creative challenge.

Programmatic display is a "black box" for the advertising layman. The mechanics behind it are highly technical, its function as an awareness builder is deeply abstract, and its effects are hard to quantify. In the minds of our audience – practical, frugal business owners – such a complex product is relegated simply to, 'something I have no experience with and probably don't need.'

To illustrate how I've answered this creative conundrum, I built a creative timeline. You'll see how I've adapted key learnings into distinct brand messaging.

Mid 2018

"The Fear of Missing Out"
After hundreds of pitches to small business owners, we found that most considered awareness advertising ineffective, un-trackable, and unnecessary.

I set out to challenge that. My strategy was to illicit a feeling of missed opportunities; a vein of gold waiting to be struck.
DISPLAY
There's supposed to be
an ad here...

If you can't see it,
try disabling your ad blocker
or whitelisting this site.
WEBSITE

Late 2018–Early 2019

Exciting Claims
We’d decided as a team to be more selective in who we pitched. We prioritized businesses whose decision-makers understood awareness and would be excited to pay less for it.

We also found that, for many in this new audience, growing brand awareness came with a sense of achievement; finally, their business had arrived in the big-leagues. I abandoned fear-based messaging for exciting, achievement-focused copy, with the assumption being that awareness is desired, but prohibitively expensive.
IN-STADIUM PROGRAM ADS (PRINT)
DISPLAY
There's supposed to be
an ad here...

If you can't see it,
try disabling your ad blocker
or whitelisting this site.
WEBSITE

Mid 2019

Carving a Space for Display
Pitching a savvier audience helped, but now we faced competition from other media. Our audience struggled to understand why they’d choose us over print ads and billboards; traditional channels had always worked, after all, and are much easier to understand.

My creative strategy evolved to direct comparison with traditional awareness channels, and to define what display advertising actually is.
DISPLAY
There's supposed to be
an ad here...

If you can't see it,
try disabling your ad blocker
or whitelisting this site.
VIDEO: 'WHAT ARE DISPLAY ADS?'
WEBSITE

Late 2019–June 2020

"The Optimistic Achiever"
In October 2019, we commissioned consumer research that brought definition to our target audience: The Optimistic Achiever.

Optimistic Achievers optimize for success instead of mitigating failure. It's a nuanced and important difference; they strategize to reach their goals, not to avoid failing them. To them, any untapped opportunity is worth trying.

Our current brand strategy alludes to success and the feeling of attaining it. We empower our audience to go further than everyone else, and reach the level they've always known they could.
DISPLAY
There's supposed to be
an ad here...

If you can't see it,
try disabling your ad blocker
or whitelisting this site.
WEBSITE
Back to top  ↑