What is brand advertising? does it drive more conversions than you think?

Kapil Vaishnani
by Kapil Vaishnani  |  30th Jun, 2020 in Branding

Blowing your own trumpet is considered the norm in the advertising world. However, no matter how much you portray the benefits of your product or service, it won’t sell in this competitive world unless you evoke a certain amount of trust and dependability. It is the reason why brands like Colgate need no advertisement – people trust them implicitly and will buy the product – advertisement or not.

Ask any brand advertising company, and they’ll tell you that direct advertising is just so much talk without brand advertising.

What is Brand Advertising?

Brands adopt two approaches to advertising –

  1. The direct approach
  2. Nurturing

The first – called Direct Response Advertising – is direct actionable advertisement strategically placed on social media and other digital channels with the specific conversion goals. These ads have an actionable link encouraging the viewer to make a spot purchase.

The second approach seeks to establish a long-lasting relationship with the audience. This is called brand advertising.

Brand advertising is deployed through public channels like television – where the brand seeks to evoke empathy and trust of its audience. There is no direct action – the brand simply provides information and offers commitment.

The goal of brand advertising is to generate awareness, develop and promote familiarity, and build trust and confidence.

Recommended: Advertisements that Touch Lives

Which of the two drives more conversion?

Before we answer that – let us understand why marketers shy away from brand advertising. The top three reasons are –

  1. It’s costly – Brand advertisements cost more than direct ads on digital channels.
  2. It’s hard to track – since brand advertisements do not require direct action their impact is hard to measure
  3. It’s hard to prove – You can assess your ROI from direct response ads better than from brand advertisements.

The last two are why number crunchers will have you believe direct ads are better than brand awareness advertising.

Why invest in Brand Advertising


Surveys have repeatedly shown that viewers are more likely to hit the CTA (Call to Action) button on names and logos of brands they are aware of – names they recognize.

True lead nurturing helps move your consumer down the funnel, but you aren’t as likely to convert through brand promotion advertising alone without awareness.

Given a choice, a potential consumer – a lead – will almost always click on a recognizable logo or name – and this recognition comes through brand advertising.

This brings to mind a post by Gian M. Fulgoni on Comscore where he says, “Search might well have closed the deal, but there is often a lot of other marketing activity that led the consumer down the path to purchase” – and brand awareness is a big part of that other marketing activity.

Think about it – when a consumer clicks on Buy Now there’s a lot more going on in his mind than simply making a purchase. It’s the reason why users will not click the CTA the first time they see your advertisement.

Recommended: Get Creative with Billboard Ads


CTR (Click Through Rate) very nearly tops the list when it comes to marketing campaign metrics. Higher CTR means higher conversions. Or does it? You might get high traffic – high CTR – and simply have people visit and browse your website without making a purchase.

Back in 1885,Thomas Smith wrote that it takes 20 views for a man to buy the product being advertised. Familiarity comes with repetition.

You are far more likely to close a sale if your brand name and logo is familiar to your audience.

Brand advertising has a much wider reach than direct advertising. You might think of the former as an awareness campaign and the later as brand promotion advertising.

Through brand advertising, you not only let people know about your existence but familiarize them with your brand. The fact that people still remember old time ad jingles like “Tandoorasti ki raksha karta hai life bouy ….” evidences the impact of brand advertisement.

Trust and Confidence

Brand advertising is also the reason why people on social media will click on your organic posts and you will have to pay a lot less for PPC (Pay Per Click) – though you can’t discount them altogether. Moreover, you will have a longer RLSA (Remarketing Leads for Search Ads) campaigns list to work with.

Familiarity breeds trust. If you have gone about your brand awareness advertising the right way, your brand will become popular enough not to need a name. Do you really need a name for these logos?


Image Courtesy – instapage.com

This type of familiarity evokes not only trust but also confidence and dependability. Flashing your logo at community events as a part of your CSR is a great brand advertising strategy.

At the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, Ford was poised to boost sales of its Escape and Explorer through advertising during the March Madness event. The pandemic killed the campaign but Ford kept its name visible through a quickly adapted strategy inviting people whose financing or leasing contracts were impacted by the crisis to contact the company for relief. This not only kept the brand visible but generated trust through empathy. Its standard procedure during crisis said Matt Vandyke, the US director for marketing.

This type of connectivity is what moves people to trust a brand and click the CTA every time.

On a final note, brand marketing doesn’t just drive conversions; it is the foundation for the rest of your marketing strategy. Brand marketing runs parallel to your marketing funnel and complements your other marketing and sales efforts.

Want to find out what brand marketing can do for you? Call +91 99984 12378 or write to hi@litmusbranding.com

Kapil Vaishnani

Founder - Chairman, Litmus Branding Pvt. Ltd.
Kapil Vaishnani founded Litmus in 2001 to water his passion for creating brands. Kapil’s a creative brain hitched at business. He firmly believes that focused communication is the key and it must carry a purpose that serves both brand and business. Simplicity is Kapil’s power gear that has shaped some of the prominent brands in India and globally. His passion-filled sportsmanship with multi-disciplinary talent is brimming with experience of 20+ years. Talk sense and he is all ears.

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