The medium is the message. McLuhan said it and he was right. We can check it just by reaching into our pocket. Our smart-phone waits silently to share the next event of our life through text message,WhatsApp, recorded audio, photo, video, doodle, meme, or to intervene in real time with our opinion and / or likes in content created by others . From a newspaper article, to a blog entry or an online survey.
Technology has fostered, democratized and strengthened video recording until it has become a favorite message style for many people. Emoticons have also subverted the rules. Now, an image is able to instantly communicate our mood or desires, without the need to write a single line.
All this without detriment, still, that we continue consuming traditional content on television, radio, outdoor advertising, press and magazines in parallel to that new digital reality placed in our lives by the work and grace of the internet.
At this point it is impossible not to remember David Ogilvy. Recognized as one of the great copywriters and creative directors of all time, he was firmly convinced in the 1970s that the future was direct marketing. He continually evangelized about the benefits of advertising directed at the person as an indisputable alternative to advertising directed at the masses.
And boy, it seems that digital technologies also agree. Currently, the same web page can provide different content, segmented according to the user profile that accesses it. A wonder for advertisers who see how their budgets are optimized while increasing the impacts of their message.
Custom advertising, person to person, is now a reality.
Consumers perceive it as something attractive, something that captures their attention and, at the same time, they shy away from generic advertising.
The sum of the previous variables inserts us fully into one of the trends that are emerging strongly. This is the personalized advertising video. Without being something wildly new, live streaming technologies open up new opportunities for brands and products. The constant noise in exposure to advertising impacts makes many consumers opt for content adapted to their interests in short video format, without great complications, on Instagram or TikTok, for example.
As you may be thinking after reading the previous paragraph, advertising on mobile devices seems to have a bright future waiting for it. Every day the time we spend hooked on our mobile grows. Logically, the advertising investment on this platform seems like a good idea. The stories of Instagram and other networks knew a real boom in 2020.
Here the definitive bet is to generate engagement with the audiences. New ideas are explored and attention is paid to interaction. Gamification is proof of this. It continues to grow among brands and advertisers.
Also the combination of previous variables together with instant messaging apps make up a universe of new opportunities to create and retain audiences.
The future, announced in the past, today
Do you remember Blade Runner? Without going into his dystopian vision set in 2019, the giant screens of his scenes that broadcast messages at all hours, are already here. Large cities begin to alter their appearance by leaving behind the static outdoor advertising of the last century. Billboards and billboards are also rendered to video on giant screens of astonishing brightness and resolution.
A new opportunity to generate interaction with audiences. Contests, promotions and offers can emerge when a person walks past them. It will probably not take long to see, as happens in American sports, how a camera travels the street to share in real time a detail that captures your attention: a couple kissing, an original outfit, a sympathetic scene. With Artificial Intelligence we can make that image become part of the advertised product and, who knows, establish a game in real time with the improvised stars on the screen.
Technologies that have not yet taken off, such as blockchain or 5G, could increase engagement options, when they do.
To conclude, Dean Evans, former CMO at Hyundai and Subaru and a career dedicated to the automotive world, since joining cars.com, has renewed his focus on investing in media.
I leave you with some of his “pearls”. I think that, in general, they can be extrapolated to other professional sectors.
“If only 2.5% of the population thinks, at any time, about buying a car, what is the point of an advertisement on television? Television is not going to find your customers, at least at a reasonable cost.”
“If you really want to gain a competitive advantage as a car advertiser, implement your marketing right in front of what people buy on a daily basis. Make it a priority for your marketing mix.”
“Google Ads are overpriced and less efficient in terms of what you think Google can do in paid search and search engines today. It’s just mind-blowing.”