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Screen Pass

Posted by David Polakoff on March 1, 2010

The Windmills of My Immediate Mind

Media Business Strategies – David Polakoff

Screen Pass

Publishers, advertisers, and ad agencies have always sought the holy grail – the optimal mix of content and media placement to influence consumers to buy; and buy again.  This has been, and still is, true in traditional media, and remains valid in the new media environment.   With consumers’ attention scattered, media placement has followed.  Let’s see how ad saturation has impacted the consumer.

Effective media placement has always been sought on radio, on television, in print, and outdoor.  We’ve now added the internet and mobile device screens.  Advertisements are now placed across screens where consumers are engaged.  But wait, there’s more.  Advertisements are on take-away coffee cups; on risers of staircases; in elevators; in movie theatres, in train cars; on turnstiles; inside taxi cabs; on sidewalks and on store floors; on gas station pumps; in restrooms; and on flatbed vehicles, driven through cities.  The formats have also progressed.  There are banners; pop-ups; pre and post rolls; scrolls; crawls; rollovers; holograms; and 3D.

The market research industry has always endeavored to measure consumer’s intent, reaction, recall, and appeal for advertising content – in any format on any screen.  Even non-sufferers of attention deficit disorder don’t have limitless attention and focus.  The goal of the research is to master the consumer’s media filters – a process part art/part science (and let’s not leave out luck).

So has the ubiquitous screen presence reached the point of saturation?  Has the consumer adapted their media filter to the new screens, formats, and placements – neutering the marketing effort?

Believe it or not, we’ve not reached the point of saturation.  Advertisers have succeeded in continuing to own the consumers screens and can still penetrate media filters.  Technology, ingenuity, and creativity have kept advertisements visible to consumers in every conceivable eye capturing opportunity.   While attempts to put advertising on the George Washington Bridge, as well as New York City’s consideration of selling naming rights to subway stations, both crossed the public’s tolerance level and were abandoned, consumers accept widespread placement of advertisements because they know it helps underwrite their interests (e.g., sporting events; free content) and because it keeps them informed regarding their purchasing needs.

While advertisers own the screens, consumers must own the message.  Successful advertising and marketing still has to be relevant in context and connectivity, but the means to that end is now more dynamic.  Again, technology continues to provide solutions by enhancing the ability for marketers to deliver relevant content in proper context.  Behavioral and contextual targeting are the promise of internet and mobile advertising, and we’re on our way, to apply those technologies to more traditional media.   Interactivity is another solution to achieving influence over the consumer – engaging the consumer to participate in the advertisement to make it relevant, personal, captivating, and useful.   Continued consumer adoption and penetration of ever enhancing technologies and pertinent applications will facilitate further effectiveness.  Of course, the foundation of good marketing – creative content- remains king (see my previous post A Commercial Message).

What has not changed is the excellent vs. poor execution of creative and intelligent placement.  There are still plenty of blown opportunities when content is just repurposed and not relevant to the applicable context.  The consumer still has plenty of savvy to filter out the irrelevant and the dreck.

Effectively putting a targeted, personal, engaging, interactive, and creative message in front of a consumer, everywhere his/her eyes are watching, still has one more element to facilitate:  piercing the consumer’s media filter.  The next element to a successful screen pass is….the social media component.  And utilizing an age old media tool, this is my teaser to tune in to The Telephone Hour; my next posting.

(Email me at davidpolakoff@alumni.lehigh.edu to receive the alert for the posting; or stop back, shortly, to the blog).

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