Aug 13 2019
Aubrey Lehrmann

How to Create Digital First Assets


Thought leaders, assemble! We recently hosted a roundtable discussion with the Centro Industry Advisory Group (CIAG). The CIAG is aimed at gathering valuable input from thought leaders to help shape the future of advertising technology and services.

Digital creative is up against a lot of hurdles. It can be difficult to stand out while creating a positive experience between audience and brand. On top of that, digital creative is often an afterthought. Many brands repurpose TV spots and print assets for digital vehicles that are capable of so much more.

In our latest Centro Industry Advisory Group (CIAG), we discussed how advertisers can think about digital (both media and creative) first. Planning ahead is key, but you have options even if you’re short on time. Here are our top three digital creative tips you can use no matter what your timeline looks like:

  1. Maximize Your Photo and Video Shoots

Get approval to send a social strategist or digital planner to the production day. Your talent is there, so take this opportunity to capture tons of extra content! It won’t all be gold, but the team can sift through it to find the moments worth repurposing when time isn’t such an issue.

Make sure the person you send is very comfortable with social media as well as the brand’s voice and standards. Instruct them to take vertical video as well as horizontal video. Mix up the aspect ratios. Take videos, take photos, take Boomerangs, apply filters. Just capture content.

If you’re confident in the abilities of that person, give them permission to go live on various platforms or post to your stories in real time. When you’re back in the office, take some of the content and build mock ups of your raw content in a digital environment. Most platforms have WYSIWYG tools that anyone can use for free.

  1. Think About the Realistic Digital Experience

The simplest example of this is online video. We all like to think of media consumption as the stock photo experience:

Woman with phone on couch

We idealize that our audiences look like the picture above: Comfortably sitting on a couch with their phone, sound on, viewing a full-screen video of your ad with no distractions. But when is the last time YOU fit that image?

Mobile video in particular is often consumed with many distractions (i.e. TV, kids, the zombie apocalypse), on various devices, and regularly muted. To have a chance at stopping the scroll, try adding subtitles to mobile video.

  1. Maximum Allowable Duration Does Not Equal Most Effective Duration

TV is typically bought in :15 and :30s, but digital is much more flexible. In the analytics world, just because you can measure 50 metrics doesn’t mean you should measure all 50 metrics. In video creative, just because you have :30, doesn’t mean you should use :30.

Think about users’ attention span. If you can tell your story in :09, tell it in :09. YouTube now has a standard :06 format called the bumper ad. Creative folks may not think this is enough time to tell the story, but there are many world-class brands doing a great job with this format.

These very short-form videos also discourage ads that build to a big reveal at the end. These ads sometimes have low brand recall since attention has moved on and the viewer doesn’t even make it to the reveal.

At the end of the day, digital is a fast-moving and unique medium. It’s full of potential for advertisers who can harness its power. Additionally, digital is one of the only mediums that can provide rapid feedback. We’ve given you three tips here, but we encourage everyone to test, learn, iterate, and improve.

We are currently forming a junior industry advisory group comprised of future media and marketing leaders with 7-10 years of experience. Our advisory groups provide guidance on best practices and where the industry is headed in a conversational, round table format. If you are interested in joining our group, please fill out our quick form!