Best display advertising campaign: City Gross
It’s been a testing quarter for many brands but digital advertising continues to rise to the challenge, with some exciting and experimental campaigns. And the winner of Bannerflow’s spring best display campaign is no exception.
What all our entries this quarter also had in common was the fact that their designer teams were able to keep on going, whether at home, in the office, or even as make-shift teachers! We’re proud Bannerflow users had the technology and workflows to just do what they needed to do, especially given the circumstances.
However, after much deliberation, the winner of the best display advertising campaign (for one of the most challenging quarters ever) went to supermarket chain City Gross.
Designed in our creative management platform (CMP), it uses rich media animation and video to grab the customer’s attention. Plus, we couldn’t help but admire the Easter-related content!
We spoke to City Gross, Art Director, David Sundh about his winning campaign and how he and his team have been creating display advertising over the past few months.
What was the purpose of this display campaign?
David Sundh, Art Director, City Gross: The purpose was Easter, which for our industry is a huge event. People buy a lot, they cook a lot, and under normal conditions, they meet a lot. But for this specific occasion we focused on “inspiration” – and tried to find a place in the customers’ own environment. We also incorporated a series of short videos we had made into the campaign.
Can you describe some of the technical details of this particular ad set?
David Sundh: Historically, we do not normally use video but now we are experimenting a lot with it. In fact, we are trying to add more video to all our campaigns. In fact, for every campaign we produce, we create a lot of assets, which are particularly useful when creating omnichannel advertising.
For example, the video for the Easter display campaign is from a movie made for this years Easter campaign. We incorporated it into the banner set, through placing it in an iPad-like container – just like a customer would if they were reading or looking at a recipe.
Are the assets for this ad custom built exclusively for the campaign?
David Sundh: We always finding new ways to enhance both our direction and workflow across production. For example, using live-feeds with our TV ad production company for instance. We regularly produce new assets for all channels and campaigns, however, sometimes we will re-use assets – but only if it benefits the message, and has a consistent look and feel.
From my point of view, I always look at old content, old assets, and see if we can re-use them. I believe it’s a good way of moving forward, while making sure you keep the brand identity safe. You don’t want to show the same things over and over again, but used in a different situation, an old asset can make something feel new and fresh.
Did being able to use Bannerflow help you to re-use those materials?
David Sundh: I would say yes. I don’t know now for how long we’ve been using Bannerflow (two years?) But for me, it’s been a journey, a very fun journey; experimenting and publishing my experiments. And the statistics are the proof – especially for this campaign, which performed quite well.
Your campaign performed well, any theories why?
David Sundh: Like I said there are many variables, such as timing. But specifically during the Easter period, when this campaign was live, many other competitors were communicating with similar messages and CTAs. Maybe it was different and more interesting for people to click on it?
How did you capitalise on this increased performance?
David Sundh: We made a landing page on our website to pick up the customers. This enabled them to continue their journey and see the movie in full – and understand where to buy the items used in the recipe!
I would say this campaign was unique. But we are trying to use more inspiration in our ads because it’s a big part of buying food and cooking.
Normally our campaigns focus on price and product. Yet, around Easter, everybody in Sweden has a good deal on “sill” – and that’s not going to get you more clicks!
How do you tackle the design process of display campaigns?
David Sundh: We have a creative team in our in-house agency, which focuses on producing omnichannel campaigns. Production is broken down into different areas of responsibility. For example, I am an art director with a conceptual focus on our digital channels, as well as production.
We have photographers, production managers, copywriters, graphic designers, food creators, and together, for example, we discuss which recipes to use for inspiration, or which movies to make and use in our digital channels.
Everything we produce has to look good and not be overly complicated – and that’s where planning comes in. Everything is planned thoroughly; from the copy we use on the landing page to pick up the customer, to mapping out the customer journey – everything is planned in advance.
Using Bannerflow, is the main purpose display production, or do you use it for other formats too?
David Sundh: As well as display, we use Bannerflow to produce the ads for the digital signage we have in our stores. We also sometimes use it to make content for Facebook.
When working on the design process which other tools, beyond Bannerflow, do you use?
David Sundh: I actually still use pen and paper but of course, Adobe is my best friend: illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, etc. That’s where I produce.
What is it about the Bannerflow platform that makes creating ads easier?
David Sundh: First of all, you don’t have to produce everything 10-15 times in different formats and sizes! Plus, everything is integrated and you have all the functions that you need. And you have widgets if you want to go crazy! Movies are easily uploaded, and Bannerflow customer support are alway quick – 5 minutes and it’s done – which is really good.
Does Bannerflow help you to work remotely? How has Covid-19 affected how you operate?
David Sundh: Bannerflow, in its nature, is cloud-based so you can do it from anywhere. The approval process is also really good, you just send a link and you can show it to anybody. During recent times, there was never a problem with the workflow in Bannerflow.
Are there any particular features in Bannerflow that have helped you take your ad designs to a higher level?
David Sundh: Right now the video widget is very interesting to us, as we see people responding better to our ads when we have something moving in them. So I would say, right now, that’s my favorite feature.
As a designer, how do you continue to find inspiration?
David Sundh: It’s always ongoing. You look at other things, and as soon as I see something, whether it’s banners or a movie on social media, I always save it for future inspiration. You pick something small here and then you find your own mix. Plus. always remembering to keep the message short and clear. I think that’s a good concept!
How we selected the winning campaign
Bannerflow’s Customer Success, Operations and Marketing Team sat down together to decide on the best display advertising campaign for spring 2020. Each team considered the design, performance, complexity, features, and formats for each campaign submitted.
Selected campaigns were then presented to a panel of judges who rated them from 1 to 10. The campaign with the highest total won display campaign of the season!