This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0
 

  The Herman Trend Alert

June 5, 2002

The Future of Advertising: Shared Media

Imagine a television commercial in which a group of Boomers is chatting about eco-vacations. The most sophisticated participant talks about a fabulous trip to the Costa Rican Rain Forest. He talks about the adventure, the splendor, the majesty of the experience, how this trip was his first with Lindblad Expeditions, and how he plans to go to Antarctica next time. He compares his experience to the rush of driving his new car, an Infiniti. Finally, we pan to the label on his clothing---Ralph Lauren.

For a while, retail businesses have understood the value of sharing commercial space. We have community banks sharing with supermarkets and assorted quick- serve purveyors combining in strip malls and food courts. Some innovative banks share with Starbucks.

The new frontier of advertising will be shared media. Advertisers have long comprehended that their markets have full psychographic profiles. Savvy researchers can literally identify Tang users on the street.

Agencies have long sought something new, to romance viewers into staying by the tube during the now all-too-frequent-and-long commercial breaks. With two or three minute-blocks, creative directors will have the ability to develop mini- stories to draw us in like long-form direct response copy has for years. If alliances buy multiple time slots, they will have the opportunity to develop a story and reinforce the brands over six to nine minutes. Veterans of TV drama and comedy like Dick Wolf and David Kelley will be tapped to write the scripts. People will stay glued to their sets to see the next installment. Some may even use the actors from the series. That's powerful!

The movement will start with agencies that have multiple accounts sharing the same demographics and psychographics (values, attitudes, lifestyles). Agencies looking for a competitive edge will market this ability to prospects. Advertisers will gravitate to agencies that can help them appropriately partner with others. Other agencies will use strong accounts to attract new clients away from competitors.

Expect further movement towards delivering more value with brand messages in the forms of information and entertainment, beyond belching frogs and dare-devil driving courses you shouldn't try yourself.


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