Retail Media Branded Content: How Creativity Captivates Shoppers

Retail Media Branded Content How Creativity Captivates Shoppers
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The third in a seven-part series by Stephen Gottlich, Solutions Consultant – Innovation and R&D at Gable.

As retail media networks race towards the nearly $100 billion market opportunity, they can undoubtedly provide a lucrative new revenue stream. However, conversations around ad targeting, first-party data, and measurement often overshadow one pivotal program element—the creative content itself.

With U.S. consumers encountering countless retail ads and emails on a daily basis, breaking through requires more than reaching the right eyeballs. Ultimately, the brand message must be relevant, engaging, and memorable. The right combination of these ingredients will determine whether your retail, grocery, or convenience shopper notices, considers, and converts. Eyeballs are great, but engagement and attributing value across channels to calculate return on ad spend (ROAS) is greater.

That’s why the most successful retail media campaigns complement precise targeting with scroll-stopping, action-driving creative assets tailored to the shopper’s mindset.

How to Create Engaging Retail Media Branded Content that Influences Dwell Time & Revenue

To maximize dwell time, retail media branded content must strike a delicate balance between education and entertainment. Creatively showcasing key product features and differentiation points helps shoppers efficiently evaluate fit.

For example, try weaving in contextual lifestyle applications to personalize use cases. Surprising and delighting with understated humor or interactive elements invites shoppers to linger longer.

The goal is to understand the subtle nuance of attention and attraction and create engaging content that has the power to captivate and influence dwell time.

Puma Interactive Digital Billboard At Gable, we had the pleasure of working with Puma’s flagship store in New York City. We created a technically advanced and innovative retail environment that was recognized with a 2021 Digital Signage Award. The interactive element of the store-wide digital system allows shoppers to create a larger-than-life video screen directly from their device. Visitors can choose bright backgrounds by connecting to the screen via the cloud, then add and adjust various elements to create a custom “selfie moment” to post to social media.

With the right strategic insight, creative execution, and integrated network partners, DOOH becomes a manageable and impactful asset that increases its targeted reach exponentially and generates passive income.

Short-Form Video Reigns Supreme in RMNs

Video-dominant platforms like TikTok have conditioned consumers to gravitate to sight, sound, and motion. As a result, short-form video has emerged as the dominant creative format within retail media networks due to its unmatched ability to convey brand stories and product value propositions efficiently.

As consumers’ attention spans continue to contract amidst content saturation, bite-sized video enables brands to influence shopper perceptions and purchase decisions within seconds. From auto-playing in-feed video ads on retailer homepages and search results to full-screen videos within mobile apps, these 15-second spots deliver immersive, full-funnel brand messaging to in-market shoppers.

The most effective short-form retail media videos grab attention immediately through arresting visuals, quick cuts, and bold text overlays that communicate even without sound. Key product benefits and differentiators are highlighted succinctly to create an immediate connection. Authentic and relatable lifestyle footage helps shoppers envision the role of the product in their daily routines. And customized, action-oriented end cards and calls-to-action propel click-through to featured product detail pages to continue the shopping journey.

Programmatic Equals Personalized Shopper Experiences.

Retail Media Branded Content Example

Programmatic video ads allow retailers to tailor featured products and offer individual shoppers contextual signals. So, a consumer searching for ‘healthy snacks’ might encounter a short video spotlighting a protein bar’s fitness applications. Meanwhile, a shopper engaging with a retailer’s back-to-school content may receive a video ad showcasing a backpack’s durability and style. This dynamic personalization elevates the relevance of video assets to boost performance further.

What is the Role of Creative in RMNs

Recognizing the growing importance of short-form video to shopper activation, leading retailers have also instituted in-house and outsourced retail media creative teams to collaborate directly with brand partners on asset development. Combining retailer data on shopper behavior with brands’ market research, teams can identify the most impactful video hooks, populate with actual products available within the retailer’s inventory, and uphold brand safety and suitability standards.

When combined with the most technically advanced DOOH hardware, such as best-in-class screens and digital signage solutions, retailers can captivate shoppers and capitalize on those interactions at each stage.

Rich Media Rewards Retailers

While video often leads the shopper’s journey, rich media formats, including carousels, quizzes, lookbooks, gamification, and augmented reality, take immersive experiences to another level. Such rich media adds new omnichannel opportunities to educate shoppers on product attributes and use cases.

New WebAR tools are taking fashion, gaming, furniture, CPG, and more by storm. From accessories and apparel try-ons to live activations, retailers can create compelling experiences that drive traffic to their stores and immerse audiences in their brand’s world.

Centralizing Asset Management

Producing and optimizing volumes of creative assets across formats for multiple retail media partners creates a content coordination challenge for brands. The most mature marketers utilize a combination of 3D photography for interactive use plus a Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform to tag, store, and distribute final files intelligently. DAMs boost brand consistency while reducing creative launch timelines.

Retail media leaders like Walmart are now integrating their retail media stacks with brand DAMs to remove friction from creative workflows. Automated content management processes allow rapid A/B testing of brand messaging for in-flight optimization within retail media.

Onvo Search on Gable's DAM At Gable, we use a DAM to help organize our in-house creative assets and those for our client assets. As a dynamic media solutions partner, we understand how all of the parts of digital campaigns fit together and the critical role content plays. We consider the size, average view time, contrast, format, environment, time of day, local code restrictions, and other key factors so your content gets the most reach.

However, our expertise extends beyond choosing the best content management system. We understand the subtle nuance of attention and attraction and work with you to create engaging content that has the power to captivate and influence dwell time.

Retail Media’s Royal Family: Content & Creativity

While sophisticated targeting and closed-loop measurement capabilities remain the talk of the town in most retail media circles, creative brand content reigns supreme. Engaging video, rich media, display, and in-store assets that capture shopper imaginations crown marketing results. After awareness and engagement come acquisition, making creative excellence an economical retail media imperative.

Get Creative With Gable

Sometimes, a written or verbal description can’t convey the intended meaning as effectively as a drawing, storyboard, or animation. This early-stage step creates excitement around what’s possible, making a concept more tangible. It also helps inform all components needed to set up and run a high-performing, ROI-generating RMN.

Quick Quack Car Wash Experience Storyboard by Gable

When you’re responsible for a large-format digital project or multi-site store signage solution, for example, it’s critical that you nail down the creative direction early. Concept design is the art and skill of taking an abstract idea, making it tangible for all stakeholders to weigh in on, and getting one step closer to bringing it to life.

Our creative design team welcomes the opportunity to discuss your RMN goals and how we can support them.

About Gable

Gable has been a leader in visual communications for over 40 years. We are passionate about elevating how people perceive, interact with, and remember brands, buildings, and places. With a rich legacy in blending the timeless artistry of traditional signs with the dynamic possibilities of video displays & integrated AV systems, Gable continues to shape the future of visual communications. For more information, visit or call 800-854-0568.

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