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Friday, August 01, 2008

Advertisers push enevelope during dog days of summer

Credit it to our shrinking attention spans and the  DVR's impact, but  advertisers  are exploring innovative and provacative methods of grabbing our attention.

As a result, some companies have resorted to guerilla advertising in the street. One of the most unique tactics was Right Guard deodorant's campaign that sent men into London subways weearing suits fashioned with mini-video screens along the armpits of each jacket. When they lifted their arms next to passenger, a right guard commercial played on the screen. This method of advertising may serve asa harbinger of ads to come.

 From the New York Times article:

Advertisers are being pushed to creative extremes, partly because it’s just so difficult to get consumers’ attention these days, said Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president of Nielsen Online Digital Strategic Services, which advises clients on managing their online reputations. It may just be a flash of brilliance that everyone pays attention to, and it gets that huge return, but it’s very difficult to replicate on a regular basis.

Some of the subtle tactics included Oreo's scheme, which featured a cookie painted on the side of a glass elevator car, which is "dunked" into a painted glass at the bottom floor level.

Personally, I prefer Oreo's approach. While I appreciate any company's desire to push the envelope,  a tactic too extreme may result in public messes such as the "Aqua Teens" bomb scare in Boston. A simiilar scare occoured on a smaller scale near San Antonio earlier this month, when  a creative "Dark Knight" promo cleared a newsroom. A choclate cake ,wired to look like a bomb. From the adweek.com article:

The finale, quite literally, took the cake. Inside the cake was the ransom note that read: "If you want to see coyote again be at the Palladium [theater] at 8 p.m." A phone number was written on the cake box. When dialed, the phone inside rang, revealing press badges to the premiere.

In hindsight, Dark Knight's record-setting weekend at the box office may just prove the old saying- "any publicity is good publicity". As our media becomes increasingly customized, don't expect these extreme advertising tactics to go away anytime soon.

By Matt O'Hern at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

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