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International Marketing-Ambient Advertising_Write Up


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An assignment in the subject of International Marketing (III Semester)

An assignment in the subject of International Marketing (III Semester)

Published in: Business, News & Politics

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  • 2. ‘Mystery is the mind. More so, if it’s that of a consumer! ’A marketer wil l rarely find one single way to communicate and persuade aconsumer to buy a certain product or to influence his buying decision. Withmillions of brands entering the market every day, mar keters are faced with theconstant need for finding intrusive ways to effectively market a product. Eachbrand is vying for the all -important consumers time and attention, ea ch willing toexperiment with fresh and unique ways to promote their messages to specificgroups in an appropriate environment. In this ‘buy me’ environment, advertisersare left with little choice other than to resort to novel ideas to woo theircustomers.Good or bad, advertising is all about grabbing attention! One might not notice hisboss walking in the office in a business suit on but would surely get intrigued tosee him in a towel! Why? Because that’s an awkward thing to see, rather to do! Amarket er today exploits this psychology of human mind. He aims to bring uptechniques to advertise so cleverly that it catches the consumer’s attention whenthe consumer is completely unaware and in whatever state he/she may be in.‘ Ambient advertising is one such trend, fast catching up as an innovative marketing technique that grabs the customer attention through an unusual medium, in the ti me and place least expected. ’ A new concept for the advertisers as well as for the advertising agencies, the whole idea of ambient advertising is to catch the eye of the niche even before they realize they are a target! ‘Ambient’ advertisements are so considered because they encompass ones atmosphere. It neither restricts itself to mainstream media outlets like radio, television and2 | Page
  • 3. newspapers nor does it adopts a size, shape or format. Ambient advertising is abrand message that knows no boundaries and hits you abruptly anywhere, any time.On public beaches, on the backs of bathroom stall doors, at the bottom of golfcourse holes, on the floors of supermarket aisles, tattooed on people, painted oncars, printed on egg shells. And that’s the point. That’s what makes it sorefreshing.Ambient as an advertising medium:  Puts greater emphasis on tactics such as surpri se, humor, creativity and consequently audience involvement  Is more engaging than out-of-home and hence less wastage.  Draws upon incomplete message more than out -of-home. The ‘unusualty’ raises level of interest in consumer and hence their willingness to expend cognitive effort to process message.  Puts greater importance of reference group, opinion leadership, r esonance with t arget audience ·  Is created generally by young individuals, and so targets audiences of similar age. Typically this has been seen as a notoriously har d to reach demographic .The importance of ambient advertising lies in the way in which the consumer‘discovers’ it and its effectiveness .‘Ambient works partly through surprise and creativity and the discovery of the communication by the recipient. ’The recipient is invited to believe that they have ‘found’ something and is empowered by this and can better identify with the communication - leading to a relationship with the target audience. Another important differentiator is the way the consumer engages with the medium. Semiotics or symbols are an essential way of conveying3 | Page
  • 4. meaning especially in low-processing time advertising situations. Well chosenimages, colors, contexts etc can connote ce rtain meanings more effectively andquickly than text alone. With Ambient advertising, the medium can b e seen as asign. It might, for example, connot e innovativeness, cleverness or even arroganceand forcefulness.Jignesh mishra of ON Media says,‘ Advertisers are always trying new ways to reach consumers, use spaces whichhave not yet been used. ’Ambient advertisersleave no placeunexplored anduntouched .And if theyhave, it could only befor the sole reason ofbeing rebuffed by lawor ordinance whichdoesn’t forbidsadvertising to its weirdlimits.Advertising has, atsome point, likely madeour lives better, eitherbecause we must advertise our own businesses, or because ads help pay for goods and services that otherwise would have passed costs along to us. Ambient advertising, though considered a nontraditional stand alone activity. I t serves in the same manner as any other advertising medium i.e. letting consumers know about products. Much of the time, its also highly creative and entertaining, which stems from its emphasis on thinking outside t he box and4 | Page
  • 5. trying to work with smallerbudgets.Be it the blood spoutingfountain, which was part ofa promotional campaign fora horror film festival andthe dog with the‘unmanned’ leash used topromote a film, TheInvisible premiering on apopular television channel,More and more consumersare moving from justtransactions to experienceswith the brand. Ambienthelps brands be more apart of people lives , breakthrough the clutter andreach out to all ,say adprofessionals. ‘What has triggered the trend of ambient advertising? It’s the need to get noticed. ’Traditional marketing is slowly loosing its charm and appeal and its returnsdwindling every year. The public are ignoring TV ad vertising in its masses asbroadcasters offer the option to re cord specific programmes and fast forwardthrough ads (Tivo, Sky+ etc) negating advertising breaks effectiveness. Moreover,these main stream advertisements mediums usually cost a huge amount for oneinsertion. And if the size or reach of the newspaper or any such conventionalmedium is not significant, it goes unnoticed. As such more and more brand s are opting to advertise through an anomaloussource of media rather than more traditional ones of print & electronic media,radio & newspapers. Ambient adve rtising helps in establishing individual connect,and is more reasonable in terms of cost effectiveness. Thats the reason biggerbrands are going in for it.Bharat Parekh, a financial consultant, was looking for a unique way to publicize hislatest schem e. He was not interested in promoting his scheme throughconventional ways. "So, when my ad agency came up with the idea of gifting applebaskets with my companys logo stuck on each apple to my premium clients, I was5 | Page
  • 6. all for it. It not only helped build a personal connect, but also got me goodbusiness."‘ Ambient is not a ‘usual’ tactic designed to meetconventional communication objectives and hence ‘usual’measures may be inappropriate or at least difficult to identify. ’The difficulty inmeasuring advertisingeffectiveness appliesno less to Ambient thanout -of-home and otherforms of advertising. Itmay indeed benecessary foralternative assessmentsto be considered. Somepotential methods mayinclude:  Sales response after campaign (however this has an attendant measurement problem similar to out-of-home; wastage, confounded results etc),  If widespread media coverage results, then measure in similar ways to PR, ie editorial space,  Recall, recognition with target audience,  Measure the importance o f creativity and simplicity to effectiveness, especially as a result of low processing time. ‘ Advertising is one that impacts! ’A water fountain spouts blood. A dog walks around with a leash around its neck,ominously suspended in mid -air. No, these are not attempts to create a sci -fithriller but ambient advertisements. Not just fresh idea but ambient advertising isimpactful. A marketer opines,‘ You either like it or you don’t. With a commercial you canturn it off, with a print ad you can turn the p age, but withambient - its unavoidable and thats why its so powerful. ’6 | Page
  • 7. Whether you love it or hate it or, you cannot ignore it. Not just this, the great thing about it is its ability to target specific age groups & demographics in a chose n location with confidence, be it a nightclub or a sports stadium etc. Having said that, this does not always work’ s in its favor. Ambient media though proving to be a powerful source of communication is discar ded on certain fronts. Every availablespace is now an advertising platform, it seems. Over the past decade, ambientadvertising has become ubiquitous. Be it high traffic areas include shoppingcenters or main pedestrian walkways, business parks o r roads ide, exhibitions or afashion store changing cubicles. ‘ Ambient advertising , views almost nothing as sacred. Perhaps its time they should. ’Ambient media insomeway or the othertries to invade in theprivate space or relaxedmoments which insteadof creating interestwould annoy acustomer and maypersuade a rather harshand aggressive behavior. Billboards were takendown in the city centreof Sau Paulo for thesake of architecturalbeauty and cleanlinessof the city. Even space7 | Page
  • 8. is not left !The Russian space program launched a rocket bearing a 30-foot PizzaHut logo, and some companies are investigating the possibility of placing ads inspace that will be visible from earth!Not jus t places, the amounts ofadvertising and marketing, peopleare exposed to daily have also gonebeyond belief. Ambient advertising,today, covers lavatory walls, adornspetrol pump nozzles and book -marks, and livens up coffee cupholders and pizza boxes .in sho rt, ithas simply become impossible toavoid. Unfortunately, the basicnature of most ambient advertisingis developed in this way!Some accuse efforts into gettingambient as "environmentpollutants”, creating disorder andclutter. This is why marketers arepressed to find even morepioneering and insistent ways tocut through the "ad clutter" or "adfatigue" of modern life. Othersworry that this deluge ofadvertising will create a backlash with consumers and they may walk of .Peoplemay feel trapped and that cannot always make the desired result. ‘ Ambient tactics can be fun & informational but marketers need to stop being so self -serving and sales driven and get a clue to do the right thing fro m the get go. ’ Most ambient marketing is fun but the more potentially damaging campaigns can makes some marketers “ask forgiveness rather than ask permis sion”. This can ultimately have a negative impact on current and future customers. Globally, ambient advertising is going in the direction of interactivity. It’s better for the ambient industry to think of possibilities that brighten up the city and accent uate the8 | Page
  • 9. architecture such as neon and LED (light emitting diode) screens. One can evenmake advertising ambient interactive such as a touch screen so that you wave yourhand and play with the billboard. Screen technology, mobile -tagging technologysuch as Quick Response (QR ), a two dime nsional bar code, were initially seen inJapan and have now travelled to Europe and the US. A user with a camera phoneequipped with the correct reader softwar e can scan the image of the QR codecausing the phone’s browser t o launch and redi rect to a site’s url. So, it’s alsoabout entertainment, not just “buy me, buy me!”Social responsibility causes are also kicking in. Large companies take theresponsibility to talk about the problems of certain communities, green movement,etc. ‘ The ad industry needs to be keenly aware of the cueswe’re sending to kids on a much deeper level in terms of what we ‘value’ as a society . ’Before one considersambient marketing, theimpact it will have onprospects and currentcustomers should becarefully thought of.Provocative and excitingcampaigns, Eng agingvisuals, greatexperience True, theeffect in the eye of thebeholder. No one issaying ‘don’t market’,that’s unrealistic.Ambient advertising islikely here to stay, and"ignoring" it wont helpcombat commercialism.But, responsibility andaccountability go handin hand, with o utcomes that cannot be ignored. Often, little thought is given to thetrickle down impact of ambient advertising on society. Media literacy and criticalthinking skill sets will help overcome the shock value an ambient advertisingcreates .It’s in the favo r of those marketers be mindful of the methodology,messaging, and harm that comes from zero accountability and reach out to societyin an acceptable way.‘ Brands areexpected to spend £40m across the sector in2009, down from £57m last year and a severe drop from the highof £61m achieved in 2007. ’9 | Page
  • 10. Although ambient advertising may make a mark by having immense shock value, yet it is still not strong enough to muscle out the more conventional forms of advertising. For branding and publicity we still need to rely on print and electronic mediums. Ambient media alone will never have the same effect, unless it’s connected to some other media and recognizable in what it tries to tell you. It is a sort of self - regulation. If you look at Sao Paulo,there were a $100 million lost in ad revenue in out -of-home (as per the Internet),and it sounds dramatic for companies that rented out billboards. It’s tragic forthose who sell space.The boom years before 2008 created an explosion of creativity in media ideas,though many of them were poorly conceived. Every week we were getting three orfour new bits of media that were never going to succeed. You just know when anidea is not going to work out,” says Gideon Adey, kinetic business developmentdirector .For e.g. Ads on escalator risers are in themselves self -defeating, as theyare visible only when there are few people on the escalator. The worst advertisingdown-turn in decades has cut a swathe through the ambient media sector, clippingthe wings of media owners , forcing them out of business and d riving revenuesdown .This should, however, leave the field clear for brands to take advantage ofmore effective niche opportunities.According to Michelle Edelman,‘ Ambient advertising should provoke emotions andprovide an experience to its customers.Essentially there are three main routes to success for an ambient medium. Timingis vital; a medium that can reach someone just before they are about to dosomething else will often prove successful. For example, credit card brand Visaadvertises on petrol pump nozzles to encourage people to use its cards rather thancash when paying . Another important consideration is the mindset of the consumer10 | P a g e
  • 11. when they receive the message. Changing room ads target their audience when in a personal environment. Ads about weight loss or beauty products which may be embarrassing in a wider social location are therefore more appropriate there. It is also important to match the environment to the brand message. Ambient marketing campaigns should be entertaining, non - intrusive, andmeaningful. ParamountPictures promoted therelease of the filmTransformers: Revengeof the Fallen by installinga giant BumblebeeTransformer in LondonsWestfield shoppingcentre. For example, SonyEricsson promoted afashionable mobile phonethrough ads in changingrooms in Miss Selfridge,knowing the campaignwould almost exclusivelyreach 16- to 25 -year-oldwomen. Such tighttargets of suchcampaigns make themmore advantageous intheir effort. However, bythe same token advertising can easily reach saturation point and lose effectivenessthrough overexposure. As such originality of concept and innovation of approach isimport ant in ambient Media.11 | P a g e
  • 12. ‘ Ambient media forces advertisers to think on a much widerplain and to realize that media is completely open -ended, itseverywhere. Unlike broadcast and print, ambient is more in yourface and you connect with it at a very immediate, emotionallevel. ’Consumers and adverti sing messages have evolved and become moresophisticated. From this background has risen ambient advertising. The‘communications and technology revolution’ has given us omnipresent information .Whether used stand-alone or in conjunction with a more traditional advertisingcampaign, ambient advertising brings up a fresh idea to way to advertise and so i sexpected to stay here for a long time and b ecome more and more visible as it is aninnovative and cos t effective way to influentially and expressively targetconsumers.‘ Advertisements carried by niche media are alwayseffective especially when they never let go a chance to surprise,excite and engage! ’_____ ___ ____ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ _____ ___ ____ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___12 | P a g e