A conversation between Michelangelo and his buddy some time in the early 1500’s –
Buddy: Hey man, you doing alright?
Michelangelo: Yeah, never better. Why?
Buddy: Well, some of the guys are a little concerned. Particularly about your latest idea to paint the ceiling of that church.
Michelangelo: What about it?
Buddy: Why the hell are you painting the ceiling of that church?
Michelangelo: Because no one’s done it before.
Buddy: Oh. Well, I guess that makes sense.
Michelangelo: Glad you think so.
Buddy: Grab an ale at Minervas Tavern later?
Michelangelo: You know it, brethren.
Michelangelo, the Media Buyer
If Michelangelo was still around, he might have been one of the most strategic media buyers in the industry, among many other things. The reason why is because, in addition to coming up with creative ways to produce art, he also considered creative locations to place his art.
As marketing consultants at one of the top advertising agencies in Texas, we have come to learn that the environment content is placed in has the potential to make or break an ad. You wouldn’t place a planned parenthood carousel on a dating app, and you wouldn’t put a fast food billboard outside of a gym. Your content needs to compliment the setting that it’s in, and vice-versa. Otherwise, all the time and money spent on creating content that standing alone, looks fine, will go to waste. Take these media placement mishaps for example:
Looks like someone does.
Faith in humanity -> destroyed
Now, as an Austin based digital marketing and advertising agency, we will be the first to tell you that traditional advertising is crawling into a very deep, dark, and isolated grave. Besides the evolution into new platforms, the reason why is for reasons just like these; it is very difficult to control the environments that surround your content. Except for the last one. That is just ridiculous and whoever bought that space should get checked out.
Despite the epic failures previously discussed, there have been and still are, some pretty innovative traditional media placements being done.
A Spin on Tradition
One of our favorite media buys comes from the windy city, Chicago, and was one of the first campaigns done for Goose Island Brewery. At the time, Goose Island was just entering the beer game, and as a young brewing company, they didn’t have enough money to buy billboards around the city that their competitors were being featured on.
So what’s a young brewer to do? Something never done before.
Given the size of the budget, Goose Island’s marketing and advertising agency had the ingenious idea of buying garage roofs that you could see from the el train that circulated the city.
Not only did this fit their budget, but a couple Chi-town residents got their roofs redone. Talk about giving back to your community!
Another highly innovative ad placement was conducted for a campaign promoting Tondeo nose and ear trimmers.
Their use of nature and the natural surroundings, in this case, was truly ingenious. Michelangelo would have been proud.
But wait a second, Rock Candy Media is a digital advertising agency. Why the hell are we talking about traditional media? Well, besides it being the original platform for our illustrious industry, we give props where props are due. But not to worry, the realm of digital media buying is where the scandal lives.
Swastika Printed Sports Leggings?
Despite digital media being praised as the holy land for advertisers, in which they have total control over the environment their content is placed in and the audiences it reaches, there have been several major blunders, the results of which far exceeded the traditional media mishaps previously discussed.
Take YouTube for example. Youtube has grown into a flourishing platform for brands and companies to hyper-target audiences and reach specific demographics with pinpoint accuracy. Not only that, it has allowed individual channels with a certain number of followers to accumulate advertising revenue.
But what happens when the content that is featured alongside those adverts doesn’t radiate the best message? What happens when promotions for leggings start being featured next to videos of Nazism and pedophilia? Well, for Under Armor, what resulted was a total PR nightmare, and for YouTube, a hefty sum of refunds to those who bought space.
While YouTube and brands alike utilize content filtering programs to prevent these kinds of things from happening, it’s obviously not a foolproof method. Not only that, when blunders like this occur, they are exposed at national and international levels, rather than billboards which are only seen by people in the immediate area.
Despite a couple disasters, the digital platform is, for the most part, the most strategic place to promote content. The International Advertising Bureau has already predicted that digital ad expenditures are set to hit $100 billion by the end of the year. People are constantly finding new and exciting ways to navigate these digital labyrinths, and have been quite successful because of it.
Made You Look!
One of the biggest dimensions that digital media platforms brought to the table was the ability for the user to interact with an advertisement. Car insurance provider Bradesco used this interaction feature to their advantage when they purchased ad space in iPad magazines.
The ad featured a car, and when users went to swipe their finger across the screen, thinking it would lead them to the next page, it was actually the car that followed and crashed into the side of the screen. The tagline – “Unexpected events happen without warning. Make a Bradesco car insurance plan.” Truly phenomenal.
The digital marketing agency responsible used their knowledge of the platform and the environment surrounding it to make the most out of what would’ve been an ordinary, boring ad.
This just goes to show that there are endless ways to use the media platforms at our disposal. You just have to look at it from multiple perspectives and consider every angle that could be implicated.
This mentality, looking at things with a 360-degree point of view, is exactly what our Austin advertising agency strives to maintain. Whether it’s through hiring people with unique perspectives or doing exercises that make us think outside of the box, we will always look to innovate.
The world of advertising is always changing. So we’ve got to evolve right alongside it, or risk being left behind. When you land on an idea that no one has done before, you’ve either found the next big thing, or you’re overdoing the smelling salts. The problem is you won’t know if it works until you try it. And we encourage you to take that risk. Your innovation might just radiate the ingenuity of something like the Sistine Chapel.