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Harsh – but fair? 1 June, 2007

Posted by Jay Ball in Uncategorized.

The world of consumer marketing gets a good kicking from a pretty funny video by Microsoft Digital Media Solutions.

Personally, I think much of the industry has moved on from the caricature but it’s still a good video and makes some fair points. There’s also a blog attached to it.

For me, however, there are a number of issues this brings up.

Firstly, not every customer wants a “relationship” with a brand. I am happy if the toilet cleaner I buy cleans toilets well. I’m even happier if it does so reliably and without trashing the environment. However, at no point do I want to get into a discussion about the finer points of toilet cleanliness (life’s too short). This is true for many low-involvement products (both B2C and B2B).

What the video does show is the appallingly limited range of options available to old school advertisers. Although, again, apart from the dinosaurs of the industry, most are beginning to wake up to a significantly wider range of possibilities. Not all of which involve either shouting at the customer or bribing them with coupons. Some agencies, and I hope we’re one, are even blending them together is some pretty smart ways.
Maybe I’m being thick, but I struggle to see what Microsoft is offering that really changes the game. It’s another channel. Yes, it’s one where the context and behaviour of the audience can be better understood. But it is still about interruption more than it is about a dialogue.

To be fair, they don’t claim to be a panacea for all marketing’s ills but if the real issue is a fundamental change in the way consumers view brands and marketing communications, simply changing the venue is not exactly ground-breaking.

Source: PJA



1. geertd - 2 June, 2007

Great analysis and in a way I agree. Nevertheless, I still think we need to tell the story we have told in the movie to start the conversation. If I look at Belgium and I look at the media spending in advertising, only 3% of all ad money goes online whereas people spend more than 20% of their time online. To bring this fact to the surface we need to start at the beginning and work our way up.

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