Friday, December 19, 2014
Media Spike #18 – A Minefield of Messages
Greetings and salutations,

With appropriate apologies to Mr.’s Paul McCartney and John Lennon, I will borrow from a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album (©-Copyright 1967 The Beatles) track with an abridged title of ‘A Day In The Life…of your Customer’. You want to stand out. Make an IMPACT. Be memorable.  Okay - here’s a snippet of your daily competition where you are trying to get noticed in this message at every turn lifestyle.

Our hero, Andy (insert heroine if you’re so inclined) wakes up to the radio, and an alarm, or song or ad catapults him from the bed to the floor to start the day. Perhaps he flicks on the TV in the bedroom while getting ready for work.  Maybe several ads appear during the weather for the day and the sports highlights. But there’s a daily reminder of branding on his toothpaste tube, on his soap and shampoo too.

If time permits, Andy has a moment for a quick check of his e-mail before leaving the house for work. If Andy’s a public transit guy, he picks up a newspaper or magazine to read on his way to work.  He will doubtless be exposed to ads on the outside and inside of buses and or subway/train halls/walls/corridors. Chances are good he’ll see some TV monitors in the subways and while passing through food courts.

There may also be an ad on Andy’s ticket or bus transfer, not to mention all the signage at every convenience store he passes along the way to the trains. If Andy’s driving today, he will see all the ads on buses, outdoor ads, mobile ads on trucks passing by while he’s listening to the car radio.

Maybe Andy, you’ve got headphones on to listen to the radio station streamed from the lap-top computer while you enjoy the trip in on the local commuter train. We can be certain there is signage for everything from shoe polish to travel agents, to coffee to soda pop as you make your way through the train tunnel or the underground parking garage.

You are greeted by more TV ads as your office elevator has a TV monitor inside.
When you at last get to your desk, you begin to sift your way through multiple newspapers and you barely glance at the belly-band ad on that new magazine.

Just as you exhale, Andy, you are bombarded with 117 e-mail messages and a host of on-line and social media messages that threaten to hold you hostage all day long. Some you can turn off. Some are incessantly in front of you. You take a few minutes at lunch to read the newspaper and when you go for a coffee you read an article on your sports hero (or heroine) in the magazine someone left open in the kitchen.

Maybe you’ve got ten minutes to catch a breath of air and walk around the block and see all the ads in the store windows and on garbage pails, and on taxicabs as they fly by, not to mention the street flyers and coupons being thrust at you. You make a pit stop in the washroom before going back to your desk and there is signage in the bathroom in the stall door or beside the vanity mirror. Returning to your desk you have 14 new e-mail messages, and often many of them are accompanied by an ad.

As you wind down the office day, you reverse the process and see the elevator and parking lot ads again. On the way home, you want to work out the kinks and decide to hit the gym where there are more ads in the change room, on sports bags and water bottles- heck even the sweatband has a logo promoting the manufacturer.  Fresh from the gym and shower Andy decides to pop into the local bookstore for a new book and you thumb through sports or dog magazines looking for a new story and maybe you buy one or two titles.

As you leave the bookstore, you remember you’re solo tonight, and decide to take in the latest George Clooney movie, and you’re dwarfed by all the movie stuff in the lobby, then further held captive by the commercials running on Cinema Screen interspersed with all the new movie trailers.

Two hours and twelve minutes later, you leave the cinema and zip to any fast food chain for a ‘healthy’ burger. (You’ve just worked out after all) and you see all the restaurant signage and it’s written on the bag and the cup for your drink. You then detour a few minutes to the grocery store to pick up a few items for the next day and messages are everywhere. On the door, the floor, the grocery cart, the aisle end displays, the shelf stickers, the divider on the conveyor belt before you pay.

As you at last arrive at home and the remaining strains of car radio music fade away, you find the mail composed of a letter from your sister, a flyer for driveway paving, 2 new restaurants in the neighbourhood, a local accountant, the mechanic, a dry cleaner and a hospital charity lottery, as well as the community newspaper that you’ll ignore until the weekend.

Just when it appears safe to unwind with a drink in front of the TV you’re inundated with a litany of commercials from furniture to pantyhose, and knife deals galore...and somewhere in this continuous swirl of disjointed messaging that is in front of your customer everyday, YOU have to stand out and say – I Am Here.

You might remember that at the end of message Media Spike #11, I noted an insurance company used only two media—at least in my experience- but I remember them because they were there constantly.  This is what you need to do in your media placement. When you’ve tested and tried and measured and know which media are working for you, then stay with them. Build the loyalty, trust, recognition and consumer confidence by always being there.

You don’t need to be in EVERY media. You just need to be in the one(s) which your target group will see regularly and respond to over time.  And you know which ones they are because you’ve been testing them...Haven’t you?

Stay tuned.

P.S. If you intend to be a long term player in your industry, then treat your advertising like an ongoing marathon instead of a sprint. Buyers like surety and confidence bred of ongoing presence and not a flash in the pan- digital or otherwise.

- Dennis Kelly
About Me
Dennis Kelly
A professional to his fingertips, Dennis Kelly of First Impressions Media brings a deft touch as your media magician. Extracting incremental media value for you from suppliers is second nature for Dennis. His versatility in all media is bred of 3 decades of hands-on media planning & buying experience in the media trenches. As a steward of your media budget, Dennis excels in delivering smart, efficient, creative and targeted campaigns to showcase your creative to the right audience.

Dennis is the author of “ 9 Secrets of How To Improve Your Advertising” and is available to Masthead Reader for $197 through a special offer at this link
Most Recent Blog Comment
Dennis Kelly says:
Thank you Gloria. What a perfectly apropos link. Thank you for sharing that. You are quite correct. ...
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