The Shift

A close look into the transition that Advertising is going through today.

Welcome to the world of Advertising 2.0. While makers do what they do best, that is create content for you; let’s decode this new model and understand how its wheels work.

The Shift

Imagine that you’ve snuggled down on your comfortable couch to watch your favourite movie playing on television. The movie routinely plays into an advertisement featuring a new-age fairness cream for men and your ‘entertainment’ is consistently interrupted. This is a classic example of the Interruption Model: a century old method that has been deployed since the inception of advertising. But let’s be honest; it is nothing more than a nuisance today.

Today’s consumers want something more accessible, personal and non-intrusive; and Advertising has to adapt to this shift. Native Advertising is ebbing out and Advertising 2.0 is slowly taking centre stage.

Where does Branded Content come into the picture?

Today, brands want their content to be shared in the form of storytelling and to create an immersive experience. It’s a relatively new concept but has the potential to transform the way media, stories and content in general is consumed. Digitization has changed the game considerably. Coca Cola’s strategic shift from the ‘Open Happiness’ campaign to ‘Taste The Feeling’ is a beautiful and cogent example of how content is becoming more personal and palatable. It’s made for you or at least it’s made to make you believe it is.

Is all content creative?

Every piece of content may not be extraordinarily creative but each piece is still consumable. Brilliant content refers to the beauty of storytelling and makes the message subtle and yet overt. Exit-Deutschland created a campaign called 'Nazis against Nazis – Germany’s Most Involuntary Charity Walk.' It was an extremely engaging example and a perfect embodiment of entertainment. Some might argue that the best content has the largest audience; but this is rarely the case. Don’t let the numbers fool you. Every Salman Khan song gathers a million views overnight, but that does not necessarily make it a brilliant piece of content. Outstanding content and exceptional storytelling, finds their own audience.

An effective campaign is:

1)    Personal, non-intrusive and accessible

2)    Aligned to the brand’s marketing message.

3)   Often the result of creative partnerships between agencies which makes for great content.

The comfort of technology

What the Internet has enabled one-to-one communication between consumers and  firms. Firms can now access your location, interests, browsing history and demographic group. Ads can now follow users from site to site: if you look online for flights to Frankfurt, you will be inundated with German holiday offers. They probably know you better than your neighbour without imposing a relationship on you. Content reaches your doorstep; packaged and customized just for you.

The most intimate object you own, your smartphone, has changed the way the Internet can reach you. You probably can’t recall the last time you signed into Facebook from the browser on your computer. Who would, when the App is only a swipe away?

Further, the rules are changing. Consumers hunt for content and the content hunts for its consumers. Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube have transformed the way content is available to you. Native Advertising doesn’t rule the roost like before when media was based on scarce distribution. What matters is how fast content comes to you; and what makes you watch, or consume, it again and again.

Are you consuming content right now?

Of course you are! You’re consuming content every time you watch a video from the recommended section on YouTube, casually scroll through your Facebook newsfeed and even now, as you read this article.

Advertising is an artform that aims to generate content that consumes, dazzles and creates a lasting impression.

In order to keep up with changing consumer consumption patterns, creators must look for new ways to showcase their content. The ultimate goal is to create content people actually want to watch; and that is exactly what Advertising 2.0 is all about: minimal effort and maximum impact.

CHHAYA DABAS

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