The growth of online media makes it even harder for creatives to catch the consumer’s eye. But it also represents an opportunity to create brands that have a coherent presence in every sphere.

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“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” So said Mark Twain, but today, finding the right kind of advertising is harder than ever. Modern consumers are bombarded with ad messages wherever they go, and branding campaigns have to work hard to make an impression on the consumer.
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Internet advertising is a comparative newcomer to the advertising industry, which is still predominantly concerned with television, press, and posters. However, the status quo is changing – online’s share of all advertising revenue is continuing to grow. 
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Recent figures show that in 2005, online ad spend accounted for 4.6 per cent of all advertising spend, and this is predicted to rise to 6.4 per cent by 2008, according to agency Zenith Optimedia.
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So what are the essential ingredients for that killer branding campaign? Digital creative agencies always start the process by putting the consumer first. Everything has to start with that end target in mind.
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“Consumers control everything now,” says James Hilton, global creative director at AKQA. “They control how they receive content and when they want to receive it. They can rid themselves of the tedious intrusions forced upon them by advertising.
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“As far as a consumer is concerned, if a brand communication doesn’t excite them, it can get lost. The consumer only thinks; ‘So what? What’s in it for me?’ Brands need to engage consumers in an experience.”
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Petter Ringbom, a partner at New York design studio Flat.com, says that as well as identifying your audience, you have to respect it. “Always respect the audience’s intelligence, humour, and savvy,” he says. “Don’t let focus groups, market research, and brand strategy kill the spirit of the campaign. There are enough bland, predictable, and formulaic messages out there.”
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