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Friday, January 19

Ads Everywhere

Had read some interesting pointers onJohn Dodds post - Madison Avenue RIP, few days back. He had commented on this NYT article. Essentially the article talked about this craze among marketers to sell ads on any/ all new space - be it a video screen in a taxi, a turnstile, the examining table in a doctor’s office or eggs!!

With all this globalisation and the consequent shortening of time lag in any marketing adoption, I feel India is not very far behind in this sensorial assault by marketers/ advertisers.

Was in Bangalore yesterday for a meeting. Between the airport ride and the time spent in Cafe Coffee day and even the bus ride to the aircraft parking, it was difficult to dodge ads. They were everywhere. In your face between the amusing to the annoying!

Here's a small sample!
There was this little boy dressed up as a Dalmatian in front of a retail store!! Ostensibly trying to attract traffic/ foot-fall/ buyers/ whatever.
I found it appalling. At par with the inhuman bill-boards at Mahim creek.Next was this 'message for Tata Indicom's Internet service' on the napkin holder in the restaurant at the airport.
Quite apt(since the airport and most parts of Bangalore support wi-fi connectivity), done subtly and therefore low on AQ(annoying quotient)

Then, there were these 360 units for the Bollywood movie 'Salaame Ishq'(a simple film based quiz on the table coaster and as an insert with the coffee bill) which I thought were quite interesting. However, since I am biased against this movie itself, there was little connect. However, the medium itself is quite good/ intrusive for very-short-shelf-life products like a Bollywood film.

And then there was this Bajaj Allianz insurance ad on the luggage tag. Absolutely the worst place to put an ad. It's not at eye-level. Once you put it, there is no apparent reason to look it over. It's too frivolous a medium to advertise a concept like 'insurance'.I guess in this game of 'ads everywhere' we need to keep in mind some basic rules.

My take - 1. Be the first to use a new medium but avoid duplicating. Step out before it is clutter.
2. Try never to annoy folks. They are leading busy and streeful lives.
3. Be authentic, not pushy
4. Appeal to the intelligence of the consumer and not treat them only as eyeballs
5. Always respect who the brand is and what the context is. What worked for Adidas did not work for that Bank in the NYT article...Be sensitive.
6. Avoid information/ communication overload.

We must remember Simplexity > Simplicity > Complexity...


neilperkin said...

I have a sixth rule for you - the medium is the message so make it relevant. Like you say, an ad for insurance on a baggage label is unimaginative but howabout an ad for samsonite suitcases? In NY, one consumer revolted against the ubiquity of ad messages in a rather interesting way - I have posted on it at http://neilperkin.typepad.com/only_dead_fish/2007/01/watch_out_there.html

Manish said...

hey neil. great example. great inspiration:-) am sure it will snowball into a movement if marketing/advertising doesn't respect the privacy and intelligence of fellow human beings!!