Advertising alternatives II

The market changes every day. Consumers change with every passing hour. Commercials are changing every minute. We have been paying close attention for the last 525,600 minutes and the results can be found in this BLA. Where can new media be found? How do you raise awareness for your brand? Has your inspiration well run dry? Just keep reading to find out all our handy tips and tricks.

Sexy broadband

A much talked-about and highly anticipated web trend are the so-called ‘participatory media': social media that only work through the consumers’ input. According to specialists, these interactive media will bring about a new social revolution. American research has shown that more than 55% of American young people are planning to have emotional and even sexual ‘virtual relations’. Sex with someone they’ve never even met in real life. If this person turns out to be a celebrity, that’s just an added bonus, of course. But what part can brands play in this scenario?

Brands can create a second space (second life even?) for themselves in this universe. Brands can build a ‘virtual bedroom’ for the consumer. But this gives the word ‘computer virus’ a whole new meaning.

Have you created your virtual twin yet? No more acne, simian hair growth or crooked teeth..


If you fan the flame, you’re going to get burnt

The only thing you need to do, is to strategically plant your seeds. ‘Seed-buzz-spread’. Building up brands without the use of traditional media. You start off with a good idea, then that idea gets leaked. Step by step, one thing at a time. Once the seeding has been done, the buzz effect takes off. Consumers start talking about your product. They start asking questions. They want to know who’s behind this and start looking for answers in their personal networks. Is this something new? What brand is behind this? They feel like they’re the first to discover something new and that they’re right at the source. That’s when consumers feel the need to start sharing. Then, all of a sudden, a brand name appears. This is some old school brand building: basing everything on a great idea and then taking all the time you need to build the brand. “New packaging for old ideas!” we’d say over here at Brandhome. American brand guru Al Ries wrote about it years ago in his ’22 immutable laws of branding': “A true brand does not start with advertising, it starts with a good idea and publicity.”

This method mainly focuses on blogs and social media. European bloggers are always searching for novelties their American counterparts are already talking about or they receive news through their online network. The more content your blog has, the more readers it attracts, for a while at least. Viral campaigns may be well-received at first, but they receive less support over time and get quite a lot of criticism.

These blogs are a source of information for the traditional media. Newspapers and magazines love writing about the YouTube hits that originated on online communities. After publication in newspapers, viral campaigns become more popular. Just think: “Is your ad making headlines? Then those headlines are your ad now.”

Right programme, right temperature, right headline?

Selling your likeness to a brand used to mean the end of a celebrity’s career, but those days are well and truly over. Having a famous face in your campaign is an automatic score, right? This method has been peaking these recent years. Look around you: just about every other brand has a celebrity endorsing their products. Not just cosmetics, but razors, cars, yogurt, computers and even funeral insurances.

Got milk: the most famous celebrity endorsement campaign

The Flintstones used to smoke Winstons

Take George Clooney for instance. His face pops up more during the commercial break than during regular programming. Why is this solution so popular? Well, logically, if a certain celebrity’s personality and image completely align with your brand, then this method is really useful to ‘attach’ that person’s image to your brand. If the celebrity disappears after a while, your brand is left with the desired image still lingering. But what then? Keeping up an image is much more difficult than adapting one. Consistent brand management is key. Obviously you can never predict how celebrities are going to appear in the media while they’re still promoting your product. A subtle nip slip or not-so-secret addiction? The thing you may fear the most might come true. A spin-off of this is a clothing line and merchandising coming from the stars themselves. We’re still waiting for Lohan Vodka, designed by Lindsay, by the way.

Everyone grows up … or do they?

Guerrilla advertising has gone to the next level. Almost every campaign seems to need a guerrilla element these days. Not because it attracts more customers, but for the free publicity and hype you might get. The benefit of a guerrilla concept is that it can bring you really close to the customers. And that’s what it’s all about nowadays: going where the customer is. The creativity and diversity of angle seems to have no limits. But how does it work? Just repeat this during  production: ‘How do I change a spectator into an interactor? How do I turn a consumer into a doer instead of an observer?’
That’s the main goal of a guerrilla stunt: activating the consumer.

Footballer’s legs at Paris Nord Xbox @ The Beach

Free ‘vote for a woman’ matruschka’s in Antwerp Central Station

“That’s like totally socially responsible”

A few years ago, Al Gore received a Green Lion. For his entrepreneurship, and his preaching. He sent out a message to the ad industry, urging execs to be more conscious of nature and our planet. But what if the ad boys had actually followed his example? Handing out a Green Lion may be fun, but will they take his advice? Let’s take a little test.

15,000 people came to the Cannes film festival. Each of them received a bag containing more than 3 kilos of flyers, magazines, T-shirts, cd’s and more flyers, magazines, etc. 15,000 bags are dragged around for 5 days and they lose a lot of content on the road. The bag weighs about 2 kilos on average, which can add a lot of extra weight to a car. The bag is also often transported back to its owner’s country of origin, and they came in by plane. Extra kilos on the plane means an added usage of oil fuel, which turns into air pollution.. There are enough wild theories to go around, but aren’t you curious to see whether less ad trash will be made over the next years? Yes? Well, you’re not alone!

Al Gore picking up his Green Oscar