2014-10-29 07:54

New model for effective branding campaigns

The largest internet portal in Lithuania has made a breakthrough. It proved that large advertisers – so far focused on TV based communication – can be effectively allured to the online world. The drawing power attracting them is the innovative model of merging unique content with branding ad techniques.   

Most online publishers require sales strategies that would persuade marketers to locate more budgets on the internet. While importance of online is growing, in the Central and Eastern Europe region the biggest ad spend share is still allocated to TV. Online activity is not yet the center of communication but a supplement to FMCG and other brand advertisers. Despite it, the largest online publisher in Lithuania –, has organized a successful branding campaign for Danone, providing a splendid illustration of the qualitative results and effectiveness within its main target audience.

The Lithuanian publisher was convinced that the following fundamentals are necessary:

  • project model that would be replicable and easy to adapt for different brands,
  • qualitative and unique content, coherent with the advertising message that would be attractive to the target audience,
  • monitoring the effectiveness of reaching the advertiser’s target group by website audience socio-demographic data analysis in real time.

In practice this meant a departure from the sale of regular advertising space on a portal or its pre-existing vertical. So, offered the advertiser dedicated content that could work hand in hand with the highly exclusive advertising space to deliver the branding impact. The publisher created a special subsection devoted to healthy lifestyle under the website section “Life”[1]. The new section titled “Keep to the rhythm”[2] was filled with original articles written by journalists. Moreover, Danone was granted exclusive rights to advertise its yogurt product “Activia” there.

Measuring the internet users visiting the site

Once the website project was designed, a key challenge had to be faced. How to measure the internet users visiting the site in respect of their socio-demographic profile? Some research tools that would facilitate serving the ads and analyze their effectiveness had to be implemented too. These issues had to be addressed to attain the ultimate goals in branding (and take advantage of this situation just like in TV advertising).

The research tool chosen was gemiusDirectEffect. With this solution at hand, it became possible to:

  • measure the website audience in real time,
  • analyse the success of promotional campaign to visit “Keep to the rhythm” section,
  • monitor the effectiveness of “Activia” display campaign,
  • research Danone campaign’s branding results.

Increasing the campaign reach

Auto-promotion activities across the portal attracted new users to the section “Keep to the rhythm”. A measurement of the socio-demographic characteristics of users visiting this section was carried out upon its onset. First data was available in just two hours after the measurement and included information on the reach and socio-demographic distribution of users per several target groups.

Based on the first gemiusDirectEffect results editors were modifying the headlines and language used in the featured texts, so that they were perfectly adjusted to audience needs. This increased the attractive value and hence, the popularity of the content. The website editors could see the returned results by changes in socio-demographic patterns of users who clicked on promotional articles.

Delfi's know-how together with the actionable measurement brought an impressive Danone target audience presence on the ”Keep to the rhythm“ section. Majority of its audience were users from biggest cities of Vilnius, Kaunas or in the age group of 35-54 – the desired characteristics for Activia product.

The outcomes

The campaign, which lasted for six weeks from 26 July to 5 September 2013, included 31 articles about health issues, as well as promotional activities with display banners and social media. All of these activities included integrated logo of Danone product “Activia”. During this time campaign reached 600 000 Real Users. Due to the high affinity, 67 per cent of all campaign impressions were deliver to the target group.

Since this was strongly brand focused campaign, the qualitative results were even more important. Therefore a gemiusBrandingEffect research study was carried out to survey the users of target audience. Solution delivered knowledge on such impacts:

  • awareness of the Activia brand and purchase habits,
  • ad recall effectiveness and its quality assessment,
  • evaluation of the Activia brand and purchase intent.

Based on the above, considerable knowledge was obtained on the increase in the Activia brand and product awareness along with the health benefits the product brings. The data, showed an increase in brand awareness reach, and a significant shift in the product and brand perception. Brand assessment about the health benefits of Activia[3] information was obtained. The evaluation was done by control – exposed group method, which distinguishes the users that were and were not in contact with Danone campaign. There were statistically significant improvements noted in 9 out of 10 the researched aspects, in scale 1 to 4:

  • It helps to cope with daily tasks – assessment increase from 3.25 to 3.62
  • Boosts self-confidence – Increase from 3.10 to 3.58
  • Helps stay calm – increase from 3.23 to 3.52
  • Helps improve well-being – increase from 3.08 to 3.41
  • This is something for me – increase from 30.01 to 3.39
  • The brand is close to me – increase from 2.93 to 3.27
  • Helps to remain balanced and tranquil – increase from 2.89 to 3.22
  • Boosts the vital forces of the system – increase from 2.76 to 3.22
  • By drinking this yoghurt I take care of my body – increase from 2.52 to 2.86
  • You must try it – increase from 2.16 to 2.32

After the campaign was over, the section “Keep to the rhythm” remained available for an extra month. It didn’t feature Danone ads anymore, offering only the editorial content.


Since the campaign in question was over, the Lithuanian publisher has run in excess of 40 similar projects, implementing their own know-how combined with research tools provided by Gemius[4].

In early 2013, noted a 2-3 per cent income from this type of branding campaigns. In the fourth quarter of 2013 they already accounted for 10 per cent of the company’s all ad revenue. According to the Lithuanian publisher, the future of Internet advertising is about accurate targeting and selective audience projects, just like campaigns conducted in this model.

Click here to download the presentation.

[1] Lit. "Gyvenimas".
[2] Lit. "Išlaikyk ritmą".
[3] A yoghurt brand in the Danone portfolio, subject to the campaign.
[4] The results of all subsequent campaigns were monitored and analysed in terms of the socio-demographic aspects with the use of gemiusDirectEffect.

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