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Fewer than half (46%) of all multichannel campaigns are well-integrated, despite the fact that 94% of marketers in Asia Pacific are confident in their ability to deliver integrated campaigns. This is according to Kantar Millward Brown's recent study titled "AdReaction: The Art of Integration", which examines the global state of multichannel advertising campaigns in 45 countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and China.

Across the region, only 56% of consumers in Asia Pacific think that ads fit together cohesively, with 62% of consumers in Singapore and 68% in Malaysia stating that ads now fit better across different formats such as TV, outdoor and digital. Meanwhile, consumers in the Philippines (74%) and Vietnam (73%) said that ads they see across channels fit together well, as compared to the experiences of those in more mature digital ecosystems such as South Korea (36%), Japan (35%) and Australia (48%).

Meanwhile, 78% of consumers surveyed said they are seeing ads in a wider variety of places compared to three years ago. About 73% of consumers in Singapore and 80% in Malaysia observed that advertisements are appearing in more places. This can be attributed to the increase in channels, which offers marketers with a variety of new approaches to engage consumers. Consumers in India, on the other hand, observed the highest increase in the number of ads (91%), followed by the Philippines (89%).

According to the study, integration across channels provide marketers the opportunity to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns. Results show that well-integrated and customised ad campaigns can boost overall campaign effectiveness by as much as 57%, allowing brands to obtain more impact from their investment. As such, over half of marketers are missing out on the opportunity to significantly increase their activity.

Ineffective and disjointed advertising may also potentially alienate consumers, the study said.

More than half (61%) of Asia Pacific consumers agreed that ads are more intrusive now, with 68% and 61% of Singapore and Malaysia consumers indicating the same respectively. Singaporean (38%) and Malaysian (36%) consumers also found ads more confusing. On the other hand, those in Indonesia (48%), South Korea (48%) and Japan (46%) are the least bothered by intrusive ads. Even so, Kantar's study noted the fact that over half of consumers see advertising in a negative light should be a wakeup call for marketers.

According to Duncan Southgate, global brand director, media and digital, Kantar Millward Brown, consumers feel overwhelmed by advertising from all angles while marketers struggle to make the most of ad formats and channels to best reach consumers. The latest AdReaction report unveils a disconnect between how marketers and consumers perceive campaign success, Southgate said.

Pablo Gomez, head of media and digital, APAC for Kantar Millward Brown, added that consumers are exposed to more advertising than ever before, and are becoming more judgemental of what they see as a result. “Importantly, the study showed that people react to advertising differently depending on the channel, and crucially, they are least receptive to ads on digital media," Gomez said.

He added that marketers need to start thinking intelligently about how they integrate their campaigns. Questions such as placing enough focus on customisation, having a strong creative through the campaign or selecting the right media mix should be considered. This is to ensure brands are offering a holistic and enjoyable experience to consumers, Gomez said.

(Gallery available on web)

The study laid out five guiding principles to help marketers better integrate campaigns across channels and avoid the pitfalls of fragmentation:

1. Integrate more campaign cues: Integrated campaigns are 31% more effective at building brands even without any customisation. According to the study, the more cues used, the better. Consumers expect multi-channel campaigns to deliver basic connective elements such as the same slogan and logo.

2. Start with a strong campaign idea: Great campaigns require a strong central idea to function as a "connective tissue" across all content. The study said that campaigns with a strong central idea perform better across all brand KPIs (64%), especially brand image associations (91%), as well as across all channels.

3. Make each ad in an integrated campaign amazing: Every piece of content matters and contributes to the overall success of the campaign and brand building.

4. Invest only in channels that have a clear role in the campaign: Marketers should only use channels that have a clear role in the campaign and in reaching the target audience. It is also crucial to understand what each channel can deliver in terms of impact and cost.

5. Customise content for each channel: According to the study, there is a sweet spot between integration and customisation. A strong integrated campaign must be flexible enough to enable novel, complementary content, but familiar enough to link the key campaign elements tightly together.

The study focuses on quantitative research in 45 countries, multichannel copy testing, and custom analysis of Kantar Millward Brown’s global media effectiveness and copy testing databases.