How Branded Image Ads Can Lead To Offline Sales: An Anecdote

By Amanda West-Bookwalter | @Amanda_WestBook | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

As I walked down my hallway last night, my cat ran in front of me and darted into the laundry room, where we keep her food bowl. She looked up at me and meowed loudly as she stood over her empty bowl. I reached up for her food bag only to remember that I’d used the last of it that morning. Since I’ve recently moved, I haven’t staked out my favorite pet store yet. As it’s past 10pm, I decide most pet stores will be closed by now, and saddle up for a trip to the Marsh down the street. They, of course, didn’t have what I normally buy from specialty pet stores, so I wander the aisle looking for something I trust enough to feed my cat. Something catches my eye. It’s a logo on a bag of cat food. It’s a picture of a dog and the name “Mister Buck’s Genuinely Good Pet Food Company”. I recognize the logo. I can’t recall exactly where I recognize the logo from, but my memory is telling me that the food is healthy, quality food. I think that maybe I recognized it from my old pet store or from a friend posting about it on Facebook. Either way, I trusted it right away. So, I marched off to the checkout, confident that I’d bought my cat some quality cat food.

Cut to the next day. I’m scrolling through Facebook status updates, and I happen to see this guy sitting on the side:

Well, it wasn’t this exact ad. It was one where the image matched the logo exactly and talked about how holistic and what great quality the food is. But, the point is that I didn’t even realize I was being influenced by a branded ad I’d seen and not taken any note of. These types of influenced offline sales happen all of the time. Whether it’s Display ads, Facebook ads, or your remarketing efforts–you have to give some credit to your overall offline sales volume to these channels, and I believe you can increase these sales with heavily branded ads. If their ad hadn’t matched their logo, I would have never recognized it. I would have never subconsciously recalled the ad text about how great the food is.

Have any of you had any offline ad influence like this? Do any of you have any current attribution models set up to give estimated value to your online advertising efforts for offline sales? I’d love to hear about it!