Content is King

Posted: May 27th, 2009 in Out and about

Many marketers are preaching about the death of advertising as we know it, and in particular the failure of interruption advertising. It’s fair to say that this is partly true. Indeed, you don’t need to be a genius to spot it. Just look at the statistics for tv, press and web. It’s abundantly clear that the only people who are currently making any money out of advertising are the media owners themselves.

I used to work with Joe McCambley, who wrote the copy for the first ever banner ad, an ad for AT&T, and it achieved a 60% click through rate. These days you’d be lucky to get 1%! Joe doesn’t create banners any more. He says they’ve lost their effectiveness. So what are the alternatives – and indeed, are there any alternatives? Or am I simply talking myself out of a job?

I have to admit there isn’t a definitive answer. However, it’s clear that in order to succeed in an environment over-saturated by ads and messaging (some experts estimate that the consumer is exposed to more than 3,000 advertising messages a day) we need to come up with something different, eyecatching, involving.

Marketers often say they want to “create a two-way dialogue with consumers”. Whilst this is a tired old cliché, it still holds true. We need to involve the consumer, give them a story, make them interact with your brand, entertain them for **** sake. It’s not rocket science – they’re bored and are looking for stimulation!

“Where are you going with this?” you may well ask. To be frank, I’m not sure, except to say that the best example of marketing and product placement I’ve seen recently was created by the IT geek in the agency, not the creatives (sorry creatives):

Why does it work? Simple. It’s believable, it tells a story, it has compelling content for the right audience, it’s user generated, it’s a video and it has succeeded by word of mouth to create brand ambassadors.

Isn’t this the Nirvana we’re all trying to reach?

So next time you have a marketing problem (or a creative block) why not phone IT support?