With the moratorium on public gatherings and mandatory social distancing, it’s nearly impossible for a lot of brands to have product photoshoots, create brand collateral, or kickstart a brand-new campaign. No matter the world events, constantly pumping out fresh campaigns can be a stretch and a costly endeavour for some brands at any point in the year. We’re big fans of campaign refreshes for just this reason!
What is a Campaign Refresh?
Campaign refreshes are essentially taking previously used images and other branded assets (that were most likely fairly costly to create!) and reusing them to send a new, fresh message to your audience. The level of refresh your campaign undergoes is completely up to you—and there’s no “right” way to do it. But, often a campaign refresh can look like updated price points or a sale announcement, a change of imagery, or adding new sizes. Imagery for some brands is abundant while others may be running on a short supply at various times of year. If you’re looking to refresh your campaign and you’re out of options for the campaign imagery, tap into illustrations! Illustrations that mirror your initial imagery and that can be animated in a new way are a viable, and often much more cost effective, option to creating new imagery.
We live in a culture whose attention is grabbed by the newest, shiniest (and most animated!) thing on any platform they spend time on. If you’re running a campaign that’s been seen a million times, you’re not getting any valuable eyeballs or consideration on your campaign anymore. Similarly, if you’re not running a campaign because you’re lacking fresh assets, your brand is missing out on crucial conversions.
Why should I consider a Campaign Refresh?
Simply put, we’re all stuck inside right now and the world’s current pandemic doesn’t care if we need to do shoots. And so a campaign refresh is, at this moment, our only option but it’s also a great one even when social distancing is not a necessity! Also, a campaign refresh is going to be a fraction of the price of a whole new creative. Rather than coordinating and budgeting for the various teams, crews, and coworkers it takes to bring a campaign to fruition, a refresh takes only a few key players to update brand material and produce it. And, BAM! Campaign done and back to market. Speaking of your market, your creative will make it there much faster if it’s been refreshed rather than built from scratch. Concepting and producing a campaign can take months and months whereas refreshing a campaign can happen in mere weeks.
How do I do a Campaign Refresh?
Let’s look at some campaign refreshes that we’ve been a part of and discuss the changeable assets that you can leverage to spruce up an old campaign and give it new life.
Of course we’re all used to working within stringent brand guidelines, and those were probably the colours that were used in the initial creative. Refreshing the colours in a campaign could utilize secondary brand colours if applicable. If not, the primary brand colours could be used in a new configuration and way in your campaign units.
Depending on your resources available, copy might be one of the easier things to update in a campaign. Your copy can change completely in a campaign refresh so long as it fits the visuals and the tone of the campaign. This leaves the messaging update fairly open-ended allowing a focus to be put on a new brand offering or product. This is also where you could update costs, sales, or promotional offerings.
The motion in your campaign, no matter if it’s an update or not, is crucial to conversions and your ROI. If there was no animation, the campaign refresh is the perfect time to animate your campaign. Taking a successful static campaign and adding animation to it can only increase its success. On the other hand, if you’re using previous assets that did have animation to them, they could benefit equally from new animation. Animation can highlight various assets, create focal points in images, and draw the audience’s eye to the new message or focus of your updated campaign.
Whether your updated campaign will use new imagery, or the previous imagery is up to the creative team and shareholders of course. There’s no harm in using the same imagery, especially if it was previously successful, though switching up the image crop or the image entirely is a better way to give the campaign and entirely new, fresh feel. If product shots are stretched thin, consider memberships or using the free options on stock photo sites such as shutterstock or Getty Images.
In the same vein, if product shots and imagery are in short supply, as they are in lockdown, we can animate illustrated assets without the production costs of an entire new photo shoot.
If your campaign ran in only a few banner sizes, it might be time to think about adding some other sizes to the refresh—like these ones! Adding sizes to a campaign can allow it to take up new real estate online. This can expand its viewability and accessibility to your target audience. Adding a size, potentially even a new orientation to your campaign, gives your creative a different, new space to occupy. Each banner size can house a certain crop of your image and contains your branded assets in various layouts which can give you further insights into what sizes and variations resonate best with your audience.
Did your campaign have a CTA before? If so, maybe it’s time to try a campaign without a CTA. Or if going without a CTA isn’t an approved update, you can alter the cta copy or add a CTA state in your refresh. CTA states would encompass a feature on rollover such as colour inversion, a sheen, a bump, or any other feature to draw focus to the CTA. And at the very least, you can always opt for different copy in your CTAs!
Social Media/Other platforms
Often when campaigns run on social media, they run as a static jpg. We can create mp4s that run your campaign as is on social media in a video format—no expensive rich media buy required! Uber took advantage of this, building their social videos (right) off of their display units (right). This allows your full animated campaign refresh to run on social media and other alternate platforms to get the maximum exposure on your new, freshly revamped campaign.
Campaign refreshes don’t have to be as difficult or as expensive as creating a brand-new campaign from scratch. And while new campaigns are obviously necessary at points, there’s no harm in reusing your expensive brand assets and product shots to fill in the blanks of your campaign calendar when finances or other resources run short.