• Tune into Your Brand: The Art and Science of Sonic Branding
    TriMark office space

Name The Earworm

Can you complete the following jingles?

“I have a structured settlement, and I need cash now. Call ________! 877-CASH-NOW!”

“The best part of waking up is _____ in your cup.”

“We are _____.  Bum-ba-dum, bum bum bum bum!”

“Every kiss begins with ___.”

“Do-do a dollop. Do-do a dollop of ____.”

Think you got them all? Stumped? Answers are at the end of this blog.

If you can complete at least one of the lines above—bonus points if you sang it in your head—then you know how powerful marketing earworms can be for your brand. 

Just as visual elements like logos, fonts and colors are used to represent a brand visually, sonic branding focuses on creating a unique auditory identity for a brand. Think about how deeply embedded apps like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube are in modern culture, and how sound and music are inextricably linked to experiencing each one. 

While sonic signatures aren’t a new marketing tactic, it is something that many brands are starting to invest more and more in. Should you consider using sonic branding to set your marketing strategy up for success? Read on to learn more.

What Is Sonic Branding?

Sonic branding goes by many names: “audio/auditory branding,” “sound logo,” “audio signature/identity,” “sogos” and more. In this blog, we use the terms interchangeably, defined as: The strategic use of sound elements to build a distinctive brand identity to increase retention, recognition and association among audiences.

Audio branding involves creating unique, memorable sounds or musical compositions. This adds another level of brand uniqueness that complements your visual logo and can positively impact brand recognition and retention amongst your audiences. This can be in the form of jingles, voiceovers, sound effects, original music, or even just a single note or sound (think the Apple Mac startup or Netflix’s “tu-dum” intro). 

What Makes Sonic Branding So Effective?

“You can shut your eyes, but you can’t shut your ears.”  

Laurence Minsky, co-author of Audio Branding: Using Sound To Build Your Brand

It’s true; sounds are harder to avoid than visuals. Consider the following marketing statistics:

  • Sound can influence whether a person wants to engage or avoid your brand by 86%.
  • A golden rule in marketing is that it takes 5-7 brand impressions for someone to remember your brand and take the desired action. 
  • 60% of consumers said they believe music in marketing is more memorable than visuals.

Understanding the impact of sound is part of the equation. But how exactly does audio branding work?

Sound Shapes Perceptions 

The human brain processes sound faster than visual stimuli—up to 40 milliseconds faster. That instinctive knee-jerk reaction plays an integral role in swaying one’s impression of an experience before one can even really think about it.   

Sound Activates Emotions

Sound can influence your audience’s emotions and compel action. Auditory experiences can lead customers to feel. A carefully crafted sound identity should evoke specific emotions and connect with your audience at a subconscious level. 

Think about how the Home Depot theme evokes productivity and movement that complements their brand, inspiring listeners to take on a project.

Or how the Pixar intro theme creates whimsy and prepares your mind for the experience of their films so you keep watching.

With auditory recognition, you can connect with your audience on a subconscious level, influencing perceptions and behaviors. 

Sonic Branding Enhances Brand Recall

Tostitos launched a new sonic brand, and it successfully upped audience recall by 38%. Even more impressive, this recall study was done without a visual or tagline to accompany the sound. 

This is because sound has the power to follow a user throughout their journey down the funnel. Your sonic branding can help you stay top-of-mind among a sea of competitors and drive purchase intent. 

Consistent Brand Experience

One of the goals of sonic branding is to reinforce your brand values. So, your audio identity will be most effective when it’s woven into all aspects of your brand marketing. 

It’s a long-term strategy, as opposed to a quick and easy marketing tactic, but the potential results are far greater. It’s why mega brands like Walmart and American Express have increased their sonic branding investments in recent years. 

Ultimately, the end goal of audio branding is a customer who’s fully connected and loyal to your brand. They can tell your brand apart from your competitors, and they engage with you on your channels. Most importantly, they trust you and will recommend you to others.

A Brief History of Audio Branding

In 1922, the first-ever paid radio advertisement in the USA aired on New York City’s WEAF radio. The ad was for apartments in Jackson Heights, New York. In doing so, they paved the way for a new marketing frontier, as marketers had to adapt to this emerging form of electronic mass communication and learn to meet their consumers where they were. 

Fun fact: The first-ever radio jingle in the U.S. was aired in 1926 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and featured a local barbershop quartet singing “Have You Tried Wheaties?”: 

Washburn-Crosby, the predecessor to General Mills’ brand, was on the brink of pulling Wheaties off the market due to poor sales. The jingle improved sales in the region, and the campaign was so successful that, in 1929, General Mills took it nationwide—to resounding success. Wheaties is on grocery shelves to this day thanks to that jingle.  

While there are far fewer jingles in use today, its effectiveness further underscored sound as an important part of a successful, integrated marketing strategy. 

Should I Use Sonic Branding?

Yes. Audio branding is as important now as ever. John Taite, EVP at Made Music Studio, claims that we are in an “Audio Renaissance,” where sonic branding plays an increasingly crucial role in marketing and will continue to gain momentum for the foreseeable future. As an emerging trend, a lot of benefits can be reaped from taking advantage in the early stages.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, audio streaming and podcasts experienced a spike in listeners, but it had already been increasing 32% year over year before that. 67 million Americans now listen to podcasts every month. 

Audio marketing represents a space where people are attuned to the content because they don’t also have a visual that they are processing at the same time (e.g., podcasts, music streaming platforms, etc.). 

This presents marketers with a unique challenge. If a potential customer is already enjoying a podcast or music, why not meet them where they are? Then, once you find your listening audience, how do you get listeners to not tune out ad messaging and stay engaged throughout the ad? Sonic branding. 

A Strategic Symphony

As we navigate the evolving landscape of marketing, it’s clear that audio branding is not just a passing trend but an essential component of a comprehensive, integrated brand strategy. With the rise of streaming platforms, smart home technologies, podcasts, and other audio-centric mediums, the opportunities for leveraging sonic branding are greater than ever before.

So, as you consider your brand’s marketing strategy, don’t mute the power of sound. Embrace the sonic landscape, harness its potential, and let your brand’s voice be heard loud and clear. 

Curious about other ways to make your brand even more memorable? Read our blog on ad mascots.

ANSWERS:

“I have a structured settlement, and I need cash now. Call J.G. Wentworth! 877-CASH-NOW!”

“The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.”

“We are Farmer’s. Bum-ba-dum, bum bum bum bum!”

“Every kiss begins with Kay.”

“Do-do a dollop. Do-do a dollop of Daisy.”

  • Our Favorite Ad Mascots and Why They’re Effective
    TriMark office space

Mascots have elevated the image of some of the biggest-ever brands. Many have even managed to surpass the popularity of the solutions, services and entire brands they represent. What is it that makes certain mascots so high-performing and timeless? Let’s explore the history of mascots in advertising and how the most iconic characters can inspire your own marketing strategies.

Why Do Brands Use Mascots?

From the 1800s to the present day, beloved brands have used mascot-based marketing for a variety of reasons.

  • Mascots can come in any shape, size or form for their purpose—whether they’re humans, animals or even objects.
  • While mascots can really resonate with younger audiences, they can also appeal to all ages.
  • A mascot can be zany or serious and still be capable of breaking down complex points in a clear manner.
  • Mascots can achieve levels of positive or comically negative messaging that other marketing materials often can’t.
  • Mascots can go through slight or major modifications over their lifespans to better cater to customer needs and interests (the first-ever iteration of Ronald McDonald says it all).

Our Favorite Mascots

This group has stood the test of time for good reason. Let’s get into what gives them their competitive edge.

Mario (Mario Franchise) 1981 – Present

While Mario wasn’t the first video game mascot, he’s been one of the main faces of the medium since his start. Over 200 games later—including those with different leading characters—and his legacy is still going as strong as ever, with 2023 having been an especially strong year. His “Super Mario Bros. Wonder” game for the Nintendo Switch received widespread acclaim, and the animated “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” was the second-highest-grossing film of 2023 and the first-ever video game-based film to pass $1 billion.

Takeaways

  • A video game mascot is inherently powerful in allowing people to get in the shoes of the character themself and feel what it’s like to be them.
  • A good mascot can only be further bolstered by a great product or service.
  • The little amount of personality Mario does have is just enough to make him endearing without disconnecting him from potential audiences.
  • From his early 2D days to the fully 3D worlds he can now explore, Mario’s look has evolved while remaining immediately recognizable.

Classic Santa Claus (Coca-Cola) 1931 – 1964

While Santa Claus existed long before Coca-Cola, the brand popularized his jolly image as it’s known today. In partnership with illustrator Haddon Sundblom for their Christmas-themed advertisements, Coca-Cola continually gave Santa a white beard, red coat and other characteristics that weren’t always in earlier renditions.

Takeaways

  • Existing characters and concepts can be a springboard for a mascot with its own identity and style.
  • Even an established mascot can play with preconceptions and do something unexpected.
  • A seasonal mascot can be a great way to dip your toes in without committing to a year-round campaign.

The Spokescandies (M&M’s) 1954 – Present

They’re exactly what they sound like—M&M’s with the gift of gab. Between the two main Red and Yellow mascots, five other color-named characters have since joined the roster with their own personality quirks. Each has paved the way for new storylines and styles of humor to connect with audiences.

Takeaways

  • Having a mascot that embodies the product’s appearance can make it more memorable and identifiable.
  • When you have more than one mascot, they can complement each other with different product focuses and messaging angles.
  • Humanizing an inanimate object can open up a lot of fun possibilities.

Other Fan-Favorite Mascots

Mickey Mouse (Disney)

How many other mascots are recognizable by their ears alone? Mickey’s legacy is further realized by having a physical presence at Disney parks.

Energizer Bunny (Energizer Batteries)

While not one to talk, this go-getter embodies the power of the products in a very visual, clearly understandable way.

Duo (Duolingo)

No other mascot in recent years has more effectively integrated with meme culture than this chaotic, green-feathered friend (just check his socials to get an idea). The most successful moment came when Duo started to threaten users to learn new languages, showing that strangeness can be a viable strategy.

Chester Cheetah (Cheetos)

Having a “cool” mascot is one thing, but most of the flavor from Chester may actually come from the slogans he’s paired with. From the original “It’s not easy being cheesy” to the current “Dangerously cheesy,” he’s had a slightly edgy style that’s still palatable.

Colonel Sanders (KFC)

Basing its mascot on its real founder—who even embodied the character as his public persona—helped position KFC with an inherent level of authenticity and expertise.

Gecko (GEICO)

The contrast between cute and well-spoken has a ton of comedic potential that GEICO has been able to tap into for years. He’s also been the perfect physical stand-in for the idea of insurance, making it much more accessible to all types of audiences.

Mascots Are Marketing Mainstays

A mascot can take considerable time and effort to take off, but the payoff can be well worth it. Even if one isn’t the right move for your brand, successful mascots are walking, talking examples of marketing done right.

Wondering what else can empower your advertising? Check out our coverage of 2024 Pinterest advertising features.

  • How to Use Gated Content in Your Marketing
    TriMark office space

Gated content is the definition of a win-win marketing strategy. A valuable tool in lead generation, gated content offers you the opportunity to deliver something unique and brand-specific to your target audience at key stages of the marketing funnel. But how does gated content benefit your conversion rate? Read on to learn more!

What Is Gated Content?

As consumers with internet access, we’re familiar with gated content. It is typically found behind a website form, so if you’ve ever put in your email address to subscribe to a newsletter or download a free resource on a website, then you’ve accessed gated content.

Gated content as a marketing strategy is where you offer valuable and exclusive content to your audience(s) in exchange for their contact information or some other action, such as signing up for your email list or filling out a form. Gating content is most successful when it’s tailored to your audience’s pain points, questions and interests.

Why Should I Use Gated Content in My Marketing Plan?

With the right strategy and topic, gated content can be an effective lead and revenue generator. Usually, the primary goal is to gather new leads and prospects that you can add to your newsletter mailing list or segmented email campaigns. This strategy lets you nurture good leads and build a relationship with them before they even get to the buying or decision stage.

For gated content to be effective, ensure that the obstacle to access your content is not too high. By nature, gates deter people. If your content is perceived as not valuable enough, or you’re asking for too much information, or your CTA is unclear, you can potentially turn people away.

5 Examples of Gated Content

Gated content can take many forms, and the list below is not exhaustive. Choosing the right one that will make your audiences want to exchange their information for it is the key.

  1. Templates—Templates are a popular choice for gated content because they take a task off your audiences’ plates. They’re immediately useful and available to the people who download it.
  2. Infographics—Infographics provide an easy way for your audience to consume a large amount of information at a glance. Examples of impactful infographics include summaries of industry reports, how-to guides, statistical compilations and visually engaging educational content.
  3. White papers—White papers are long-form, authoritative and thorough pieces of content that are highly compelling to your audiences. Think of it like your brand’s own academic journal. This can be a report, a guide, a study or research/survey findings.
  4. eBooks—eBooks are shorter than white papers but longer than blogs. eBooks are meant to be guides for larger topics, while white papers are a deeper dive or a more thorough exploration of a topic. eBooks are also usually more interactive than white papers, embedded with links, videos, graphics and other multimedia content.
  5. Webinars—Webinars aim to inform and educate your audience on a topic. Through webinars, you can further deepen your relationship with your audiences, so these are well-suited for consumers in the buying/decision stage.

TriMark Example: Window World’s Gated Content Strategy

For our client Window World of Colorado, we created downloadable resources tailored to where people are in the homebuying or homeownership process. The free, gated guides offered practical advice, product recommendations and design support—in other words, genuinely useful and helpful information—from Window World industry experts.

Window World of Colorado gated content examples
The landing page for Window World of Colorado’s gated content

While the resources aren’t directly related to selling or marketing Window World’s services and products, they function to build trust within each target segment. By using this tactic, Window World stays top-of-mind for new homeowners when their services are needed one day.

The Difference Between Gated and Ungated Content

As in the example above, gated content serves to build trust, authority and expertise with your audiences so that they keep your business in mind for their future needs. However, because it is behind a form, you won’t get as much traffic on it as the ungated pages on your site, nor does it help your findability on search engines as much as ungated content would.

Consider your SEO strategy when creating gated content. You don’t want to put high-volume keywords and content behind a form because search engines won’t be able to crawl and index it. One way to address this issue is by creating a landing page for your gated content and utilizing your paid media strategy to drive traffic to that landing page.

Ungated content is any information freely shared with the intent of increasing brand awareness or appearing in search results. Because it’s freely available, you will likely get more traffic with ungated content as users explore your website and look through your offerings.

Ungated content is most important for top-of-funnel users who aren’t committed enough (yet) to submit their information for your gated content. As part of your website content strategy, you may want to drive users toward your free downloadable content once they’ve had a chance to look through your value propositions.

Do’s and Don’ts of Gated Content

Is your gated content effective and positively impacting your marketing strategy? Are you driving sales and revenue through it or changing your audience’s perceptions about your brand? The following do’s and don’ts will guide you.

DO:

  • Have a dedicated landing page.
  • Clearly and concisely communicate the content’s value. Use short bullet points so users can quickly understand what you’re offering.
  • Be transparent about how you’ll use their information.
  • Promote the content through your paid and organic media.
  • Continue to nurture leads and build relationships past the initial email contact.
  • Monitor your gated content’s performance. Are people converting?
  • Ensure your data collection is compliant with Data Privacy Regulations.
eBook gated content example
An example of an ad for Trane Commercial’s eBook. The ad drove users to a form where they provided their email to download the eBook.

DO NOT:

  • Give away all your main points on the landing page. It’s meant to tease the audience and make them want to download your resource.
  • Ask for too much information from the consumer at this stage of their journey, as it may put them off.
  • Inundate your audience with emails and offers. Once you get their information, be deliberate and strategic about how you communicate with them so you don’t lose them.
  • Gate your important content solely for the sake of capturing email addresses. You’re better off with ungated content if your website isn’t performing well in the first place.

Gated content is just one part of an effective digital marketing strategy. For more marketing insights, check out our blogs on How to Create an Email Nurture Strategy and 5 Tips For Better CTAs!

  • The Power of Segmentation in Email: Why It Matters and How to Get Started
    TriMark office space

In the fast-paced, crowded world of emails, it’s not just about hitting send—it’s about hitting the right chords with your audience. Sending out generic emails to a mass list of subscribers is no longer enough. Personalization and relevance are now essential to break through the noise and capture your audience’s attention. 

List segmentation allows you to achieve this by delivering highly targeted and tailored content to your subscribers. Today, 64% of marketers personalize their email campaigns using customer segments. So, how can your business leverage this best practice effectively, and where do you start? Keep reading, and we’ll show you.

What is email segmentation?

Email segmentation involves splitting subscribers into smaller, distinct groups based on shared characteristics or behaviors like age, location and interests. This allows you to craft more targeted and personalized messages for each segment, ensuring your subscribers receive relevant and engaging content.

When your content hits home for a specific group, engagement skyrockets. You want your emails to not just land in inboxes but make an impact on your audience, whether that’s driving brand loyalty or a hot sale.

Why should I create segmented lists?

Think of email segmentation like customizing a music playlist for different moods. Each subscriber wants to receive a personalized soundtrack. And when you create this perfectly curated experience, you’ll see higher engagement, more purchases and happier customers. 

Personalized and relevant content

Segmentation lets you craft content that resonates with each segment’s unique interests, preferences and needs. You can significantly increase engagement and conversions by speaking directly to their pain points or offering tailored solutions. For 62% of customers, this means hyping up available promotions and discounts.

Higher open and click-through rates

When emails are more personalized and relevant, subscribers are more likely to open them and click the links. Studies consistently show that segmented email campaigns outperform non-segmented campaigns, leading to higher open and click-through rates. HubSpot reports segmented emails drive 30% more opens and 50% more click-throughs than unsegmented ones.

Increased conversion rates

You can boost your chances of conversions by targeting specific segments with personalized content and offers. When subscribers feel that the email directly caters to their needs, they are more likely to take the desired action, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a webinar or downloading a resource.

Improved customer retention and loyalty

Segmented emails strengthen customer relationships by delivering valuable content that aligns with their interests. You’ll create a crew of loyal fans who want to hear and buy from you again. Birthday or anniversary emails are fantastic ways to win over devotees every year—54% of customers said they would open these.

Reduced unsubscribe rates and spam complaints

When subscribers get emails that don’t quite hit the mark, they’re quick to hit the “unsubscribe” or “spam” button. List segmentation ensures that you send targeted content, reducing the likelihood of people opting out or reporting your emails as unwanted.

How should I segment my email list?

The more specific and personalized you can be with your segments, the more successful your email campaign will be. Common ways to segment your subscriber list include:

Geographic location

Get smart about where your subscribers live. Use their location to send targeted messages about local events, promotions or new store openings. You’ll be seen as a friendly, in-the-know neighbor. This approach is particularly valuable for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations or those operating in multiple regions.

Success Story: Guasaca, a South American restaurant with six locations in the Raleigh-Durham area, targeted subscribers in zip codes near their new store with an announcement email. The restaurant included an exclusive $5 promotion inside to push foot traffic during opening week and gain new and potential repeat customers. The email saw a higher-than-average open rate for Guasaca at 29.3%, indicating the promotion was extra compelling to subscribers.

Subject Line: Our Gift to You – $5 At Our New Location
Preview Text: Save on your next meal at our North Raleigh store

Gender

Segmenting by gender is smart if your business offers products or services geared toward men, women or other gendered identities. You can customize your emails to each group’s preferences to improve relevance and engagement.

Sales Funnel Stage

Group your subscribers based on where they are in their purchase journey. Whether they’re just checking you out, weighing options or ready to seal the deal, you can tailor your email messages to match each stage. This way, you give them exactly what they need at the right moment. It’s all about nurturing those leads and steering them towards hitting that ‘purchase’ button.

Success Story: In a four-part email series, Closets By Liberty™ nurtured new subscribers who signed up to receive emails from their website. These people were in the consideration phase, heavily researching whether the closet organization products were a good fit for their needs. To help them choose, the welcome emails educated subscribers about the brand and promoted the unique value of their closet systems. Because these subscribers recently signed up, they were eager to engage with Closets By Liberty™—with a whopping 44.7% open rate and 5.3% click rate, well above industry benchmarks.

Subject Line: Our New Friendship Is 🙌

Purchase History

Analyze subscribers’ past purchase behavior to develop segments based on their buying habits, product preferences or average order value. They’ll appreciate personalized upsell or cross-sell recommendations, exclusive offers and product updates that serve their interests.

Email Engagement

Check out who’s opening, clicking and converting (that’s your A-list), and identify subscribers who are MIA (they’re in hibernation). From there, you can customize your segments according to the level of engagement. For example, you may re-engage inactive subscribers with special offers or exclusive content while rewarding and nurturing highly engaged subscribers.

Success Story: KOHLER® Walk-In Bath re-engaged subscribers whose last interaction with the brand was 6 months prior with personalized emails. Segmenting the lists allowed us to customize how we followed up with these 3 types of subscribers during each sales stage. Our efforts resulted in an above-average demo (67%) and close rate (14%).

Subject Line: Ready to bring your dream bath to life? 💕
Preview Text: Discover new comfort features you’ll love.

Browsing Behavior

Track subscribers’ browsing and add-to-cart activities on your website to understand their interests and preferences. Use this information to send targeted emails showcasing products or content they keep eyeing. You’ll boost engagement and turn those clicks into conversions.

Elevate Your Email Marketing Game

Segmenting your audience is just the beginning when leveling up your email strategy. Understanding what your customers want from your emails will help you craft the perfect message, design and sending plan. To really stand out, you should also optimize your email accessibility to be inclusive of all your customers and better connect with them. Even small changes can create more engaging emails and help you reach more customers.

  • What is “Negative Marketing”?
    TriMark office space

Sometimes, with marketing, it can feel like we’re manufacturing cheeriness. What if there was a way to take a break for a bit? While it may sound counterintuitive, when used correctly, negativity can be a great change of pace and take your brand to a new level of memorability. From standing out with self-deprecation to playing with people’s expectations, here are engaging ways to channel negativity in your marketing strategies.

What “Negative Marketing” Is…

Negative marketing taps into, or tries to contextualize, adverse feelings or emotions as a way to connect with an audience. While it can be straightforward—think Wendy’s teasing its customers online—there’s plenty of room for experimentation. With sprinklings of negativity in the right spots, you can get in and stay in people’s heads as:

  • A place for truth and clear-cut stances
  • A break from the sameness of competitors
  • A source of empathy and understanding

…And Isn’t

Negative marketing isn’t an excuse to be antagonistic without repercussions. It also shouldn’t simply add to existing negativity with nothing new or interesting to say. At its worst, negative marketing is misused in a way that’s empty, overly cruel or even unrelated to marketing goals.

5 Ways To Do Negative Marketing

Here are some best practices and examples if you’re ready to try this approach.

1. Stand Out From the Crowd With Straightforwardness

Being a straight-shooter when everyone else minces their words can boost customer buy-in. Just think about it: When you’re saying what everyone else is thinking but not actually saying, you can cut through the monotony and position your offerings or services as better. This technique also builds customer trust.

Example: Alamo Drafthouse’s “Angry Voicemail” Video

Repurposing this negative customer reaction showed movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse’s commitment to its no-talking rules. Between the censored and uncensored versions, they’ve racked up 7.7 million views so far (with all the positivity in the comment sections maybe being even more impressive) by hilariously showcasing their brand and what it stands for.

2. Try Some Playful Self-Deprecation

While you don’t always want to be the punchline, playing into perceived shortcomings can be endearing and humanizing. Do it in a way that leans into what makes you unique and how apparent flaws are actually strengths.

Example: Volkswagen’s 1959 Ad Campaign

This iconic series happily recontextualized “faults” and detractors’ criticisms as proof of Volkswagen cars being quality-made, distinct, practical and much more.

3. Let Your Insights Do The Talking

Sometimes, it’s best not to pull any punches. Maybe you have that piece of media, quote or data that can make some noise, but you’ve been holding onto it due to fear of reactions. As long as the content has real merit, it may be time to let it speak for itself without too much elaboration. Even if some people end up liking you less, your intended audience will likely connect with your message more than ever.

Example: Truth.Com’s Statistic Ads

"FACT: HALF OF PEOPLE WHON TRY CIGARETTES IN COLLEGE STILL SMOKE 4 YEARS LATER."

While almost all of Truth.com’s anti-smoking and vaping ads are examples of negative marketing, in this case, consider their more minimal ones that feature a hard-hitting fact and nothing else.

4. Drive Urgency And FOMO

Scarcity can rub people the wrong way, but it may be the exact thing needed to push some into acting. This is especially true if it just feels like you’re being transparent about how popular something is or why it’s so essential to have now. Not wanting people to miss out can have a genuineness that makes customers feel more connected and valued.

Example: Amazon’s Stock Numbers

While it’s so simple, highlighting how much of a product is left and a simple CTA to order soon—in urgent red text—can be the difference between someone continuing to browse versus buying.

5. Create “Villains”

When you can personify your customers’ challenges in a very understandable, relatable way, you show that you have your finger on the pulse of their problems. Whether you take a subtle approach or go all in, a “villain” can tie into a common concern in your industry or a more niche one that you think deserves attention. In either case, you can effectively highlight your benefits and create a deeper level of understanding.

Example: Allstate Insurance’s “Mayhem” Ads

Giving a face to car-related chaos was a great way for Allstate to position itself as the all-encompassing, clear-cut solution or “hero.” 

Do Negative Marketing on Your Terms

With just the right amount of negativity, you can create some standout marketing. Starting can be as simple as experimenting with your headlines and content or taking a stance on something you’re passionate about, but others aren’t (yet).

Worried that your average marketing has gone from positive to plain? Read how to turn traditionally “boring” topics into exciting ones.

  • Pinterest is Rolling Out New Advertising Features in 2024. Here are Our Favorites.
    TriMark office space

With 425 million active users, it’s no surprise that Pinterest is a powerful marketing tool. People on the platform are actively looking for inspiration, ideas and how-tos, putting them in the mindset to take action and be inspired.

Each year, Pinterest hosts Pinterest Presents—an annual advertising summit designed to share big news and updates directly from the company’s leaders. In September, Pinterest shared some of its most impressive product previews and launches, from new ad formats to refined tools for Pin creation and management. They also shared an inside look at audiences driving the most growth for the platform, reporting (to nobody’s surprise) that Gen Z is the fastest-growing audience and actively coming back each day.

Whether you’re just getting started with advertising on Pinterest or looking for innovations to fine-tune your marketing campaigns, we’ve got everything you need to know to help your brand get the most out of advertising on Pinterest in 2024.

Take Up Space with Premiere Spotlight

Driving maximum awareness for your brand’s top moments requires a high-impact message. In June 2023, Pinterest announced Premiere Spotlight—an exclusive video ad placement on the search page that takes up around half of a mobile screen. Now, Premiere Spotlight is also available within the Pinterest home feed, right where Pinners shop for products, discover brands and get inspired.

Pinterest hasn’t announced ad pricing for Premiere Spotlight, but we can assume this feature will be a premium offering—best suited for larger brands. However, it does hint at Pinterest’s evolving video ad offerings, giving brands with smaller budgets an idea of how they could utilize video assets in other ad formats.

New Ad Formats

A full-funnel advertising strategy requires advertising capabilities that stand out against the noise. Enter Showcase and Quiz ads, two new ad formats designed to capture attention and encourage action.

Showcase Ads

With Showcase ads, advertisers can display multiple Pins in one unit and tag each with a different link. Within every Pin on a Showcase ad, you can include three clickable features that directly link to your site, giving you the power to get granular with website traffic. Like other Pinterest ad formats, Pinners can Pin the individual cards to their Boards.

St. Germain Showcase Ad Example

Quiz Ads

Quiz ads provide personalized results for Pinners, showcasing services or products from your brand that fit their preferences best. Each ad can include two or three quiz questions, with customized recommendations for each quiz result. Pinners can even save their quiz results as a pin to their favorite boards to return to later. Moving Pinners down the funnel from initial discovery to decision can be accomplished with just a few clicks, providing quiz takers with a personalized product recommendation from your brand.

Streamlined Shopping Experiences

While the final act of buying is relatively simple, Pinterest understands there’s an entire journey before a transaction occurs. That’s why they’ve introduced mobile deep links and direct links, new tools advertisers can use to help Pinners make purchase decisions and check out more efficiently.

Mobile Deep Links

Take Pinners from your Pinterest ads to a product page within your mobile app with mobile deep links. By reducing the friction from product discovery to purchase, mobile deep links make shopping on Pinterest a breeze. Plus, Pinners can utilize their shipping or payment info already stored in your app. This shopping experience is also happening across other social platforms and is only growing in popularity among consumers.

Direct Links

Turn Pinners into active shoppers of your brand with direct links. Since Pinterest’s advertising summit in September, they’ve rolled out direct links for awareness and conversion campaigns across image and video formats. Brands are seeing success, too. According to Pinterest, brands that have incorporated direct links into their consideration campaigns have seen an average of 96% more clicks to the site.

Pinterest Direct Links example

In the example above, clicking the image of these slingback pumps immediately directs you to the product page on the Charles & Keith website. For ads using direct links, there’s just one click, and it goes directly to the advertiser’s site. From there, Pinners can quickly select their size and head to check out. This streamlined customer journey supports your lower funnel goals at a lower cost compared to other Pinterest ads.

Redefined E-Commerce Integrations

While Pinterest already offers a house of integration capabilities for retailers, Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Adobe Commerce will also soon join the mix. Now that product updates are automatically updated on Pinterest, uploading product catalogs is simple for retailers big and small.

Creative Studio

Pinterest knows that lifestyle ads drive better conversions than basic product images, especially when ads are served on a broad scale. The same AI that’s powering Pinterest’s user-focused products, like Collages, is also powering visualization tools created specifically for advertisers. Creative Studio helps brands create high-quality Pins that grab attention and are more easily shoppable—without the need for resource-heavy photoshoots. Advertisers can easily create unique, tailored product images in seconds utilizing text prompts. While Creative Studio isn’t immediately available for advertisers, you can contact your Pinterest team to let them know you’re interested.

With all these new tools, brands can deliver customized content to highly engaged audiences at every stage of the customer journey. But advertising on Pinterest is just one component of a robust digital marketing strategy. Learn more about building an authentic brand voice across all channels and touchpoints here.