Advertising campaigns with a Fluent Device are more likely to generate market share & profitability than ones without
Got Milk?, The Energizer Bunny, Colonel Sanders, Ramesh & Suresh in 5 Star and Mr Gulati at MDH.
For some of them, and maybe all of them, when you read the list, mental pictures or flashbacks of a character or an ad you’ve seen spring to mind. All of these internationally and locally recognized brands and personalities have one thing in common: they are all powered by Fluent Devices.
System 1 defines it as: “A fictitious character or characters (humans or creatures) created by the brand and used as the primary vehicle for the drama in more than one ad across a campaign.”
There is more to a brand’s identity than simply a logo or a catchy colour scheme; similarly, a Fluent Device is more than just a mascot. It’s a staple of a brand’s marketing and is used similarly to the aforementioned elements. But it does more than simply show up; it’s the inspiration for the advertising. Fluent Devices are often at the centre of the storyline of a video ad or the artistic frame of a display or poster ad. It’s essential to the functioning of communication.
They are a method of increasing a brand’s Fluency, or its ease of recognition and processing, by the use of creative thought. According to System 1, one of the three key heuristics drives. decision-making is fluency, which is all about processing speed (together with Fame and Feeling). Generally speaking, if you can identify it fast, it must be an excellent decision, according to the principles of Fluency. That is to say, satisfaction increases as one’s level of familiarity increases.
Connection to Emotion
One of the major issues in advertising is solved beautifully by using Fluent Devices. Emotional advertising has proved to be more successful, especially in the long run when trying to create a brand. For your target demographic to associate positive emotions with your brand, it’s important that they be familiar with it and can see how it relates to their own experiences. However, an abundance of branding, such as ubiquitous logos, has the opposite effect.
Fluent devices create excitement and interest on their own and make it easy for people to remember a brand.
Brands had a better probability of producing profit growth and market share expansion thanks to the ads than they would have without them.
There is platform independence with Fluent Devices. According to studies done by System 1, ads for Fluent Devices (including a penguin mascot employed by British Gas) had more positive responses from viewers when the character was present.
One school of thought is that Fluent devices are becoming less necessary as online media consumption rises. In a world with 6-second advertisements, skipping, poor audibility, and other dangers to creative labour, the familiarity provided by these well-loved characters is important. Because of their versatility, efficiency, and ability to keep brands alive for far longer than most campaigns, Fluent Devices have become more popular in the vein of the Energizer bunny.
But watch out! A good Fluent Device requires more than just repetition. Adding a recurring character that people don’t like or who quickly gets boring may still help people remember the brand but at the cost of emotion. You can’t ignore the basic tenets of persuasive advertising just because you’re using fluent devices: the more people feel, the more likely they are to buy. Fluent Devices helps solve one of the biggest problems in emotional advertising, which is how to follow up a successful 5-star campaign with other ads that work just as well.