Friday, November 04, 2005

Advertising the "New Age"

Can you recall 10 ads that you saw on television yesterday? Ok can you recall 10 ads you saw today? No? It is reasonable to expect that I am part of the target market for a lot of companies for a lot of their products, yet I do not notice their communication on the television. As a marketer I guess its the worst problem. A 30 sec slot at prime time costs a bomb and no one notices!! Today advertising is facing it worst crisis.

There are far many number of channels today than I can care to recollect. And there are absolutely no programs that can make me watch through the commercials till the program begins again. Invariably I switch the channel and find something more interesting. I wanted to see the channels of similar profile co-ordinating the timing of the ad-spots so that even if I switch to other channel of the same profile I should see the same ad. Not so yet! I think channels should sit together and set-out rules (for say coordinating ad-spot timing)so that they can assist the marketer to reach their targets.

If you have noticed, barring Cricket and Tennis there arent many games I know of wherein you get regular breaks to show your ads. Cricket is a marketers dream there is a break every 6 balls!! I think marketers / channel owners must make a co-ordinated effort to popularize this sport. They will get more bang for their buck. But even here some channels get greedy and show only 4 balls encroaching the ad space into first and last ball. Obviously, if the viewer has an option he switches to other viewer-friendly channel.

Broadcasting Technology is changing with launch of Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition that lets you pause "live" broadcast and play it back. Soon some geek will invent a program that will "catch" the commercial and elimiate it while recording to the hard-disk. So viewers will actually prefer the media center rather than "live" broadcast!

Advertising the future!
I believe, advertisers should also look at their business and really alter the mechanics. If I draw parallels between watching a program and driving a car then ads currently are like "Red Signals". Rather effective model will be the "window shopping" model. So ads come and go they do not hinder my driving / walking but they are attractive enough to entice me to stop and have a look. the "Red Signal" approach has killed the ads ability to woo the prospect. What say advertisers?