Flexible Working For Flexible Audiences: LinkedIn’s IWD Success


International Women's Day


For once we’re rewinding the Ad Of The Week clock to take a look at an ad from almost exactly a year ago – LinkedIn’s International Women’s Day 2022 ad, which looked to redefine and embrace flexible working.

We’re doing this not just because IWD 2023 was last week but because the LinkedIn spot is one of several we’ve been putting under closer scrutiny as part of a project examining addressable advertising and its impact on effectiveness, in partnership with Finecast.

In the 2020s it’s not just working that’s become more flexible. Addressable advertising and the kind of emotional, entertaining creative we love at System1 might feel like strange bedfellows. But the world of addressable ads has moved on from the kind of crude, transactional sales-based appeals of the previous decade. The ads Finecast delivers are the same rich, video-based media that forms the bulk of broadcast advertising – in other words, the kind of ads we like to feature on Ad Of The Week.

That makes addressable advertising very exciting for us, as attention is one of the things we’ve been exploring in detail – as you’ll know if you saw our Triple Jeopardy Of Attention webinar or if you’ve read Orlando Wood’s Look Out.

So we’ve been working with Finecast to explore an important research question: What is the impact of addressable audiences on the effectiveness of “broad-beam advertising”, attracting right-brained attention that’s so valuable for brand-building.

This LinkedIn ad is a great example.

It’s a simple montage ad, designed to be viewable and understandable across media with a combination of on-screen text and a montage of video about flexible working and the impact it has on working women. The video has a ton of human non-verbal connection which we know from Look Out boosts that broad-beam attention we’re looking for.

Among a general, non-addressable audience, it’s a strong ad – stronger in fact than most of the International Women’s Day advertising we’ve seen. It gets a 3.9-Star score indicating good potential to contribute to brand growth for LinkedIn.

Among the addressable audience of professonals, though, we see a big boost. For them, the ad is a 5-Star piece of work, showing far greater long-term brand-building effects. The proportion of viewers feeling happiness after seeing the ad jumps from 43% to an impressive 60%. And short-term Spike is exceptional for both audiences, but again greater among the addressable audience.

LinkedIn take the emotion of B2B advertising seriously, and it pays off for them here with a piece that really communicates both in general and to the target audience. And from our perspective working with Finecast, it’s one of many valuable pieces of evidence suggesting that emotional, attention-grabbing advertising may be even more important when you’re looking at an addressable audience.

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