Nordic Digital Video Advertising Award 2017 by Kantar Millward Brown Nordic

What makes a digital advertising winner?

Kantar Millward Brown is now launching its test of digital video advertising in the Nordics. Out of 40 tested digital ads, the insurance company Tryg has developed the best digital video ad across all the Nordic countries and is the best performing advertiser with two different ads in Denmark and Norway. Insurance and finance is traditionally considered a challenging sector when it comes to engaging consumers so Tryg’s results are an extraordinary achievement.  In Sweden, the Dairy company Arla Foods has developed the best performing ad for the brand Bregott and in Finland, Samsung comes out as the winner with their ad for their quality processes for Samsung mobiles.



A recent study published by Boston Consulting Group and Google found that marketers in the Nordics are running behind their colleagues in the UK and Germany in digital marketing capabilities, especially in key areas such as mobile advertising and testing.
The brand new Nordic Digital Advertising Video Award by Millward Brown and the strong ads submitted by the advertisers clearly state, however, that some Nordic advertisers know exactly how to perform on the digital scene which is great news and there is a lot learn from their examples, says Per Vesterbæk, Nordic Client Director at Kantar Millward Brown.



The winners have it all

According to Per Vesterbæk two things characterize all four winners.

– When we look at the four ads and search for common traits, we see a clear story line and an interesting narrative. The winner in the Nordic region is the Norwegian Tryg ad, Livbøye (Beach lifesaver). A strong and emotional film that seems very close to real life. An elderly man arrives on the beach with his dog to see that the beach lifesaver is gone. He looks down to the beach where a group of teenagers seems to be fooling around, driving mopeds, making noise. He approaches the youngsters, upset that they are playing with the beach lifesaver. Watch the ad here and see if you also get goose bumps when the elderly man gets closer to the beach and realizes that they have actually rescued a man from drowning. The message that Tryg supports beach safety resonates well with viewers. The film also has a brilliantly subtle Tryg brand cue in the beginning when the old man spots that the beach lifesaver is gone. As measured in the test relatively few viewers skip the ad and those who do skip it will still get the connection to the brand.


Torbjørn Lomelde
Head of Marketing
Tryg Norge
– It is great news that our ad scores so well digitally, too. We have been focused on creating an emotional film that will engage the viewers and at the same time clearly communicate our placing of lifesavers all over Norway in order to save lives. Insurance communication rarely sticks out among great advertising across all lines of businesses so we are very proud that this film is so well received in the market, says Torbjørn Lomelde, who is Head of Marketing with Tryg Norway.


Goose bumps and humor makes for winning advertising

Hjertestarter by Tryg, TryghedsGruppen and TrygFonden is the winner in Denmark. This is also a strongly emotional film. The setting is real people (Tryg customers), who read aloud an account of a difficult rescue situation. A very young girl experiences cardiac arrest and survives only thanks to a person in the local community who quickly runs to the scene with a defibrillator. The participants in the ad, reading aloud do not know that it is the young girl’s father sitting across from them, listening to the story. The message is that with Tryg’s defibrillator program all Tryg customers save lives. It is a strong and emotional message told in an authentic and trustworthy way. This ad also has the power to give anyone goose bump, says Per Vesterbæk.


The winner in Sweden is for Arla Foods’ Bregott, a brand that has a long heritage in the Swedish market. The setting is a cow fencing where someone has left a summery bouquet of flowers for the cows – a secret admirer. After a while, it becomes clear that a secret admirer has entered the Bregott factory. The film hits a fine balance between humor and understatement. At the same time, it is short, simple and easy to understand.


Samsung Craftsmanship is the winner in Finland. With this ad Samsung wants to tell us that they are testing their products thoroughly to give quality reassurance to their customers. Sometimes laboratory films conveying a quality message can become boring but this ad proves the opposite with its twinkle in the eye and choice of music, making the ad and brand seem modern and upbeat.


How digital video ads excel

To date, Millward Brown has conducted more than 5000 Link for Digital tests. From this research we have generated 10 golden rules to what works well, summing up what we have learned:

  1. Branding matters more than ever – integrate the brand early in the ad
  2. For social content – make it work without audio
  3. Avoid overloading with messages – a positive impression may be enough
  4. Engage people from the very first second in order to delay skipping
  5. Tell a story
  6. Consider special effects/powerful unique design
  7. Consider music that engages people and that they relate to. Let the music be part of the story/tell the story
  8. Get the length just right
  9. Use humor – make the viewers feel good
  10. Know the people you are talking to – will the creative idea resonate strongly enough with the target audience? Can your brand own it?

Generating emotional response

The code to developing great creative work keeps changing and is always to be challenged, but the 10 golden rules are some characteristics we have repeatedly seen result in engaging creative work that offers a good ROI, says Per Vesterbæk.

Generating emotional response, touching the consumers by heart in an authentic way is difficult, however, extremely suited for the digital scene and very efficient when you want your ad to go viral. Here are three good examples of strong digital video advertising:


Always #LikeAGirl – Keep Playing

  • Over 28 Million views in 2016
  • 7th most watched video of the year
  • Top 25% of all ads in generating long term
    pre disposition for the brand

VW Laughing Horses

  • Highly distinctive, engaging and entertaining
  • Top 5% of all ads in generating
    positive noise around the brand

Amazon Priest and Imam

  • Created viral fame. Twitter filled with comments about the ad’s beauty and how
    it made them cry or gave them hope
  • Top 15% of all ads in connecting emotionally with people

Strong case for online video

Kantar Millward Brown’s MarketNorms database shows that compared to standard online display formats, online video delivers greater uplifts on measures such as brand favorability and purchase intent. One of its key strengths is generating reach among light TV viewers. However, between the online video ads the difference on effect hugely differ. Ads with high impact scores are 8 times more effective at creating advertising awareness for the brand compared to ads with low impact scores.


Digital advertising traps

In front of the screen, people like to decide for themselves how they spend their time and so they are less accepting of digital advertising. People avoid ads by using technology (e.g. ad blockers) as well as skipping, scrolling past and engaging in other activity. 66% skip or pay to avoid ads.


YouTube: As pre-roll precedes the video that viewers have set out to watch, the consumers’ mindset is mission based. Their attention is already focused on the screen as they wait for their video to play. In this context, attracting attention to the ad is less important. The most important thing is to delay the skip as long as possible. Creating engagement and attention from the very first second raises chances that the content will be effective.


Facebook: Here, people are browsing within a personal and social environment. The personal nature of the content draws the consumers’ attention so there is a lot of distraction to overcome if creative content is to stand out. On Facebook, 4 out of 5 people play ads without audio. Therefore, it is important for the creative work to be primarily visual to make people stop and look.


Link test for Digital Advertising

– As digital advertising becomes a larger piece of media budgets, digital effectiveness becomes increasingly important in driving overall marketing ROI. The digital video ads are tested in a live YouTube or Facebook environment. This allows us to capture behaviour and know how much of the ad people will watch, helping us to analyze the efficiency of spend, explains Per Vesterbæk.


– On YouTube, knowing people’s behaviour down to the millisecond informs us how quickly true reach builds. Perhaps more importantly, it ensures that we understand what people will take from the ad and what they will miss. Which is why creative structure is critical to ensure that people stay as long as possible and even when skipping we can try to make sure they take the right impressions from the ad with them.


– We know that in some instances a brand building, successful TV creative can be used with great ROI as a YouTube pre roll. We also know that sometimes that same video may not work on Facebook, mainly because most ads are played without audio. The Link suite includes tools to evaluate TV as well as different digital channels. With these solutions, Nordic advertisers will know exactly how their video advertising is performing and exactly what to do if their advertising needs to be optimized, says Per Vesterbæk.


Tryg Livbøyen Hemlig beundrare i Bregottfabriken
Samsung Craftsmanship Tryg Hjertestarter
Always #LikeAGirl – Keep Playing Volkswagen Tiguan ad: Laughing Horses Amazon TV ad features imam and vicar exchanging gifts.

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