Case study

Pilot turned a TV moment into conversions. And it only took nanoseconds.

Pilot stationary

When it comes to writing instruments, Pilot has graced their fair share of desks over the years. The Pilot brand, founded in Japan in 1918, has been a designer and manufacturer of pens for more than a century. From the company’s “capless pen” innovation to their environmentally conscious models made from recycled bottles, Pilot has consistently been at the forefront of their industry. When their agency of record, Havas, came to Amazon Ads with the goal of increasing Pilot’s campaigns on Amazon, they wanted to create an advertising campaign as convenient and seamless as the brand itself.

The challenge for the campaign is a common one in advertising: How does a brand take a brand awareness campaign and convert audience sentiment into leads? Havas’ plan to address that question comes in the form of “Ad to Basket”, a strategy that strategically times advertising deployment to coincide with ad spots airing on television. The campaign model was built in three stages: discovery, creation and enaction. The first step hinged on TV Monitoring Technology, Nielsen’s proprietary technology that can detect TV ads on more than 450 channels across 15 countries in less than 200 milliseconds.1

Pilot had developed a television spot called “Écrivons” (or “Let’s write”, in French) that highlighted moments of creativity in day-to-day life. The spot was set to run in France from 10 January through 31 January 2022, and was broadcast on certain TNT channels and encrypted. Using that campaign and the to-the-second technology available through Nielsen, the second step of the strategy was to develop a complementary bidding strategy via Amazon.

Working alongside Amazon Ads, Havas put together a “Brand and Products” campaign. Instead of an always-on approach, Havas employed a bidding strategy that was tied to a brand awareness play from Pilot’s “Écrivons” ad. With a sentimental television spot from the ad and an agile advertising approach on Amazon, the third stage of the campaign was all about the timing.

The final step was to combine that brand awareness campaign with the lower-funnel on-site ads on Amazon. The idea was that when the ad spot ran on television, Amazon on-site ads would be triggered to appear to customers on the Amazon store – specifically, customers who had seen the ad and may be more likely to purchase by a second exposure to the brand. By having access to these on-the-second ad run times via Nielsen’s TVTY technology, Havas was able to use the Amazon Ads bidding strategy to promote Amazon shopping results with Pilot products.

During the three-week campaign flight, Pilot saw a 29% increase in site traffic, a 42% increase in click-through rate, and a 10% increase in return on ad sales vs. common thread campaigns.2 These figures pair with the fact that the TV campaigns were only active for 16% of the day, yet imprinted more strongly on certain keyword terms that prompted the in-search Pilot ads. The result was an increase of 29% more clicks on Amazon.3 The overall conversion rate increased by 4% as well.4

Pilot deemed the Ad to Basket campaign a success, increasing visibility of their products and leveraging a campaign that reminds people that a bit of creativity, 100 years of reputation and a reliable pen can do more than you’d think.

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1 Nielsen
2–4 Internal data, Amazon, France, 2022