Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Some of the plusses of the "new media" landscape

Advertisers and agencies everywhere are scrambling to get in on all the new mediums and content delivery vehicles that people have created recently. However, as Alan Wolk points out, many of these vehicles were created specifically to circumvent and cut out advertiser messages. Why? Because they want more than smiling faces using a product in an impossibly perfect setting - they want facts.

Now, how can this possibly be good for the ad business? Well, as consumers continue to circumvent advertising messages, they will be driven to select the best products on more solid, objective criteria, and worse products will be weeded out. I believe that as companies see this happen more and more, they will be forced to create better products with genuine benefits if they want to survive. Consumers are looking elsewhere for information because commercials so often give them so little useful information, or gloss over product shortcomings. If companies are then driven to create better products with genuine benefits, then they can then advertise those benefits to gain or regain market share. And that's where we ad folks win.

We will get to make more ads for products that actually have a Unique Selling Proposition. We will no longer have to fill ads with smiling-faced actors unrealistically enjoying a product because there's nothing unique or interesting to say about it. We will be able to turn real benefits into compelling messages that appreciably drive sales. Imagine getting a product that actually already has its benefit built in so that you don't have to use your spot to artificially create one in consumers' minds.

And hopefully, if American companies are forced to create better products, we can go back to being a world leader in more than branding and Harleys, helping even out our lopsided trade balance to some degree. It might be wishful thinking, but I've always been a closet optimist.

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