Interruption Advertising & the difference that digital makes.

Driving into the office this morning I thought about some of the conversations I had had last night at the graduation ceremony of the aaa school of advertising. The conversation often turned to digital marketing and advertising and I felt that I needed to share my thoughts.

Firstly we cannot understand what can be done until we free ourselves from the interruption marketing/advertising paradigm.

We have been conditioned to think that our job as branders, marketers and advertisers is to change people’s perceptions by presenting them with a message. We know that the more impactful the message is the easier it will cut through the tremendous clutter of information that surrounds every human being. We feel that the way to do that is to find someone doing something and deliver the message to them, interrupting what they are doing and  if we grab their attention the message will get across.

So we find people driving down the road and set up a billboard, people watching sport and the insert a TV spot or people browsing the Internet and we insert an CPC ad. We know that the more relevant that ad is to the person whom we are interrupting’s frame of mind at the time we interrupt them the more successful we will be at getting our message home.

But, we get stuck there and we think of the digital space as we have been conditioned to as a different activity that we can interrupt, and so we miss the point.

The opportunity offered by digital media, especially by the Web 2.0 technology should really force us to think totally differently about our whole approach to advertising.

In an earlier post, the one on Alice’s Restaurant I spoke about building a brand by creating a movement around an idea and a concept. I believe that’s what Barack Obama did with the “Yes we can” mantra.

Is the trick to find the idea, the customer value proposition, then to follow this formula?

  • Find the talkers
  • Give them something to talk about.
  • Give them a way to help them talk about it.

I believe that that’s how we could use digital media in our marketing efforts, find the value, the idea, get it out there using the incredible characteristics of the Internet and online mobile connections to let it spread supported by building communities and then accelerate the growth of the idea using traditional media.

We are still making the rules so I would love to hear your comments.

Photo credit: alicepopkorn on Flickr

Posted on December 5, 2008 at 8:55 am by Walter Pike · Permalink
In: Uncategorized · Tagged with: , , , , , ,
  • Allan

    What excites me most about this post is that your future graduates (and the interns that come to us) will have been exposed to this kind of thinking.

    If I can add 2 things to you post:

    Firstly, a 5th bullet point that leads on from two way conversations, testing and feedback – once we have that feedback we are able to respond almost immediately: web sites can be updated, blogs can be commented on and media plans can be massaged to make sure that we really are delivering what our community expects.

    Then, when looking at what we can give people to talk about, look at what we can do that adds value, something of use. Having people actively using and publicly displaying that makes for a great testimonial of your brand.