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December 10, 2011, 5:58 am UTC
Advertising is changing rapidly with the onslaught of new devices and social media. A marketing man would need creativity to survive the advertising wars of the future.
A marketing professional loves technology because it offers him new and more effective ways of advertising his brand. Not too far in the distant future, he would be scared of the same. The world is going to a place where traditional forms of advertising would be less and less welcome. What consumers once accepted without questioning like disruptive television ads that interrupt programs, are being increasingly being questioned by the same viewers.
As the number of devices with screens has gone up (smart phones, iPods, tablets etc.), the way people view video is also changing. Today they have an option to not see content they like on TV where it is interspersed with ads. They can watch it uninterrupted on other devices. Secondly, people today like brand engagement and not one sided broadcasts. Hence, even TV commercials today often carry Twitter or Facebook links in the end so that brand engagement can be carried forward there.
A marketing professional who once relied heavily on these forms of advertising, thus needs to have a big rethink and be prepared for the changing times.
The question today is, as David Martin asks in this Forbes article, “How will big brands reach millions of consumers with their advertising if consumers have the option to skip or avoid it?” And he offers a solution – emotions. He writes, “Emotions are what drive and compel us. Emotions are the reason we do and say crazy things. They are also the reason we buy the same type of car, beer, shoe brand or sandwich over and over… because of the way those brands make us feel. This isn’t a new idea.”
Thus, though times have changed, what has remained constant is how we respond to emotional stimuli. Consider viral videos. What is it that makes people share a video they see on the web with one another so much that within days it gathers millions of hits? The answer is emotion.
When we see something that makes us laugh or cry or suddenly opens our eyes to something, it passes the intellect and reaches the core of our being, emotions. And the best thing about humans is that they are social beings. If they like something, they like to share it with others. That is the secret of a viral.
The vitals of advertising, thus has not changed much. If you can create content (not your tradition TV ad) that has your branding, either tacitly or directly, and that moves them in one of the many ways like laugh, cry or make them realize something, they will not only not mind the branding, but would actually like it and share it with others.
The secret to advertising in the new age is what it was in the old – telling engaging stories. The main difference is that in the old form of advertising a 30 second ad would be about a brand and the viewer knew it. In the new form, the same ad can be longer, but ideally it need not be loud concerning the brand it is selling. It has got to be gentle and subtle. This would require a lot of creativity from the creators to make something that is emotional and to smartly incorporate a brand in that message. Thus what will truly change is that the ads of the future cannot afford to be lax. They have to be sharp and focused, and creative and emotional.
The challenge for the new marketing professional is to rise up to the times by having their creative juices flowing. For ultimately it is not the strength or how big a brand is, that will determine its success. Creativity will.
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