Why Ads Need to Sell Brand, Not Just Product in 2020

Our recent Shopper Story report shows that 2020 consumers are on the hunt for both information & inspiration. Great ads can deliver both.
Updated on September 26, 2023

Our recent Shopper Story research, which surveyed 1000+ people in the US, shows that modern consumers are in an investigative mindset.

They’re on the hunt for information and inspiration — and searching multiple channels to get it.

From in-app to in-store and online, today’s shoppers are taking this consideration phase of their shopping journey to the next level — researching the infinite options available, reading reviews from multiple sites, and digging into the details behind every business they interact with.

For marketers, this means it’s no longer enough to simply push products through conversion-driven ad campaigns: It means encouraging engagement your brand throughout the customer journey.

Don't fall into the ROAS trap!

Discover 11 metrics that prove the value of retail media beyond ROAS

Here’s why ads need to sell brand, not just product in 2020:

1. Brand storytelling inspires consumers to imagine something wonderful.

By putting a product in context below, the surfboards become more than just sports gear: They’re an essential element of the next fun, sunny day at the beach.

2. Blending product recommendations and brand assets gets people interested in everything you have to offer.

In this shoe ad, you’re not just seeing a bunch of sneakers, you’re seeing a pair in action, plus a variety of other colors and styles.

3. Interactivity promotes a memorable brand experience.

For example, consumers are far more likely to remember a home rental brand that puts them at the center and lets them take a virtual tour of a property through their ads.

4. Animations build brand recognition and emotional connections.

In this 3D food-coupon ad, viewers get a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out), feel a fondness for the scene, and think about being part of an al fresco dinner party with friends.

5. Highlighting different aspects of your brand or products lets people customize their ad experience.

The slider ad below has two images side by side, and users can enjoy more of one or the other by swiping. In the example below, if you’d like to see the diamond ring up close, you can just move the slider to the right.

How Criteo’s DCO+ Creates Effective Full-Funnel Ads

At Criteo, DCO+ is our dynamic creative optimization technology that powers the most effective ad creative for every type of campaign. It leverages the Criteo Shopper Graph — which includes data on 2 billion monthly active shoppers — and generates great-looking ads in real time, delivered at just the right moment in every customer’s journey.

After you share your brand assets and work with Criteo’s Creative Consultants to make sure your ads are always on brand, our AI-powered technology gets to work and makes sure that the most effective ad format is shown to every user. Every ad is personalized on the fly.

That means you get the best results for your campaign objectives across the funnel, from driving awareness of your brand, to influencing consumers’ consideration process, to increasing sales and conversions.

For more on what 2020 consumers want from ads, download our Shopper Story report:

Michelle Pruett

As Global Head of Content at Criteo, Michelle leads a high-performing, multi-disciplinary team of marketers packaging insights, copy, design, and video into integrated campaigns. Her own writing has been featured in Entrepreneur, Business Insider, AdWeek, eMarketer, and more. Before joining the ...

to our newsletter

Fresh sales trends and consumer insights to help
you plan and win.