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Ads that defy convention can generate more buzz than traditional ads ever could

September 23, 2008 Leave a comment

As a copywriter at a full-service web design and online marketing agency in Northeast Ohio, I can appreciate a good ad when I see one. It doesn’t matter if the ad is printed, filmed or published online–a good piece of advertising will stick with you. Who can forget the Geico caveman or the Budweiser frogs? Such campaigns can leave a lasting effect on their audiences. This can mean big sales when the consumer is ready to buy and thinks favorably of a certain brand or product.

There are plenty of clever ads out there—here’s one that I read about recently.

A campaign in San Francisco for a new video game called “Spore” (ad pictures and discussion here) features a tiny billboard so small that it requires a telescope to see. People were drawn to look through the fixed telescope and see the 14” x 7” advertisement, mounted on a building far away.

The ad is effective because it’s out of the ordinary. People will go out of their way to look through the telescope to see the ad. Had it been a conventional billboard, people might have passed it without thinking twice. By defying convention, the agency behind the ad successfully managed to have people take notice of the ad and talk about it. By getting people to discuss the advertisement, the agency successfully generated more buzz for the product than a normal billboard ever could.

While this is just one example of an outdoor ad, Web agencies like ours can challenge the norm of online advertising with creative ways of informing consumers of our clients’ products and services. By utilizing the latest Web technologies, we can create new and interesting ways of conveying information.

Can Web Advertising Last?

March 5, 2008 Leave a comment

While hunting for something wonderful to blog about I came across an article on the BBC Web site that caught my interest. The column discusses whether advertising has a real future on the Internet.

I for one think advertising has a very strong future on the Web and possibly in software. I think my generation is heavily to blame. I happen to be a product of Generation Y, which seems to be more commonly referred to as the “Millenials” these days. However you choose to refer to us, a very large number of us have somehow gotten the idea that things should be free. I’m not really sure where this belief came from, but it sure isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

We’ll throw down thousands of dollars for a computer, but we don’t want to pay for the media or software that goes on it. It’s pretty apparent that this applies to media more so than anything else. If we care to read news sites, such as the New York Times, we don’t want to pay extra for archived material. So what’s a publisher to do? In more and more cases, the answer seems to be advertising.

Advertising probably can’t work in all cases and it can be tricky to include it without being too intrusive, but it looks to be a popular solution. When the New York Times canceled its paid TimesSelect service a few months ago it integrated the content into the rest of the site and added ads to compensate (you still need a free account to access it). Even the BBC advertises on its international site these days to account for people outside of the U.K. who aren’t paying a license fee.

Maybe Napster is to blame, but the Millenials have been getting so much content for free that it’s going to be incredibly difficult to justify a higher price (if at all possible). With advertisers strongly interested in my generation and content providers struggling to make a buck they’ve begun to found some ground to work together. No, advertising on the Web definitely won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Source: BBC News – “The writing is on the wall for ads”