For a couple of days now I’ve been struggling to find a topic to write about but today as I was reading the New York Times I stumbled across an article entitled “Letting Consumers Control Marketing: Priceless”. In a recent meeting of the Association of National Advertisers the main topic of discussion was the future of advertising. Now that the consumer has control over what commercials they watch (via TiVo, etc.) advertisers have been trying to find new ways to get out their message. The solution many companies are coming up with? Let the consumer take control of the steering wheel and in addition, the call to “replace decades worth of top-down marketing tactics with bottom-up, grass-roots approaches”. Do I sense a sort of flattening occuring in the advertising market?
Since this is mainly uncharted territory there have been failures but this sort of exploration is important because without the failures they will never come closer to the “right” answer for the future of advertising. Big names such as Wal-Mart are getting in on this new wave of advertising and as stated by Wal-Mart’s senior vice president for marketing, Stephen Quinn,”Today, the customer is in charge…and whoever is best at putting the customer in charge makes all the money.” Wal-Mart is in a stage of transformation trying to look beyond its “traditional base of rural low-income customers” by “aiming to woo a more affluent and suburban” shopper who’s standards may be higher. The sale of higher price and more luxury items looks to be the future of Wal-Mart but of course this depends on the economic standing of an area so in the future “…more stores will be customized by location,”.
More and more it appears that the future of advertising will be in the consumers hand and rightly so, who better to say what the consumer wants then the actual consumer. Until advertisers find that balance between consumer control and advertising companies there will be many attempts (some of them weird) to grab the consumer’s attention. So where does the whole “advertising on eggs?” come into this scenario? Well, while I was searching for videos on YouTube (another big player in advertising) I stumbled across a segment of the Daily Show that is entitled Back in Black and its basically a rant by Lewis Black. That week he was discussing exactly what I had read earlier in the paper. So although the video clip was a month or two old it still applied to many of the interesting (and weird) ways that advertisers were trying to get the consumers attention. He mentions how HP shelled out $200,000 for product placement in a Jessica Simpson music video, and you don’t even notice it (just check out the video, link at the bottom). Lewis Black also mention’s how CBS used “On-Egg Messaging” in order to advertise for their fall schedule. As cited in USA Today, “More than 35 million eggs will be marked with phrases such as “CSI: Crack the Case on CBS” and “The Class, New Grade-A CBS Comedy” as part of a deal between the CBS Marketing Group and EggFusion, an egg-coding company”. Its a creative idea but will it work? CBS hopes so, this “…campaign is part of what the network is calling its “Outernet strategy,” an effort to reach viewers “outside their homes as they go about their daily lives,”
So are any of the ideas actually going to work? Only time will tell, and who knows what other interesting advertisements they will come up as advertisers have to find new ways to reach their audience.
Also if any of you are interested in watching Lewis Black’s rant it can be found here.