One of the greatest challenges advertisers face today is reaching the right audiences. While a brand can expand its reach to become well known, that will not necessarily result in engagement unless the advertisement resonates with the right people. Ryan Gould of Warner Bros. Discovery says creating visually compelling campaigns is one way to do so.

“Today brands have the responsibility to provide value to audiences, and I think that they can do that in many different ways,” the head of digital ad sales said. “What value does a brand message bring to a consumer in the form of teaching them something or providing a discount? … The other is aesthetically pleasing. I think that brands have much more of a responsibility today to align with the medium and the content that they’re surrounding themselves to. Ads need to look nice. They need to make people feel nice, so consumers ultimately engage in them.”

Gould and Cliff Obrecht, Canva’s cofounder and chief operating officer, discussed how advertisers can foster brand loyalty through engaging campaigns in the Variety Studio, presented by Canva, at Advertising Week. In the digital age, breaking through the noise to capture people’s attentions has become especially crucial.

“People have a very short attention span, and they’re constantly scrolling. If you walk around New York City, you’re bombarded with visual content, just kind of overwhelming you, right?” Obrecht said. “So in order to cut through and have those messages land, having that visual brand consistency and making sure that it’s enduring through all your campaigns really then sets you aside or creates that repeatability that then sets itself in a consumers brain.”

When it comes to brand value, Obrecht added: “Is there something you can do like Patagonia and stand for a higher purpose or be some in some way aspirational, where people can attach themselves beyond just looking at the ad?”

Going into 2024, the two agree that storytelling to convey a brand’s authenticity will continue to be an important asset when it comes to differentiating brands.

“Telling a story, standing up for something you believe in, aligning your advertising with your company values — I feel in such a noisy world that authenticity is starting to really cut through,” Obrecht said.