Social Media/Networking and community attitudes in general are driving changes in the way people view advertising. The old style based on interruption (eg TV commercials, pop ups etc) are now seen as annoying and something to avoid. The quality of ad content is another factor …people no longer accept being shouted at and treated as sheep that need to be driven to buy more.
The Internet is driving a change towards an expectation of being educated, engaged and entertained. As such business needs to deliver valuable information if it expects to sell……not merely promotions.
Some recent research shows that businesses that use Social Media well spend 80% of their time on the 3 E’s and 20% on promoting or selling.
At the same time people and business are more concerned about environment and community issues. Business also craves cedibility as they seek to develop their own consumer communities and develop brand advocates.
As such there are moves beyond old style sponsorship to leverage credibility from Sports, Charities etc to a much closer involvement between business and Not for Profits.
Governments also are seeing the need for closer alliances with business and the need to use new ways to raise money outside the normal Govt Budget process. A m,ajor State Govt Dept is about to undertake a multi million dollar project with no budget. They want to work with business to leverage expertise and fund with advertising. As they say “we have assets and we am willing to trade”.
Then we add a new approach to the creative approach to advertising which sees products promoted within programs (eg MasterChef) which includes ad agencies now creating TV programs as a vehicle to sell their clients.
Online we see Branded Content rather than pop ups and click through, where advertisers sponsor sites, pages etc where the independently produced content is relevant to the type of advertising.
What can we learn from this in terms of the expected rapid growth in Digital Out of Home Signage..
Not for Profits (incl Govt Agencies) can now “own” their own signage networks to display material important for them to Educate, Engage and Entertain (eg Smart Bus Stops) and at the same time use them to generate revenue.
Shopping centres and streets are used now for Charities to sell badges, raffles etc and seek donors and major companies love to make big donations to look good.
Lets take a quick example of the Heart Foundation which does all of the above and also uses Digital Signage now.
They also run a Tick program which delivers credibility to food etc manufacturers by providing an endorsement for healthy products.
They could now go to venues with Digital Screens and have them join the HF Community Info Network. They would also go to advertisers (their current supporters) and sell them on paying to support branded content on the network.
As such the ads would be in sync with the community health messages …. screens could be used to download Videos, Diets, BMI calculators, apps etc, which could include direct sales of “sponsors” products.
The times are right on many fronts as listed above to take a new approach to digital signage and this Community approach is definitely one way to do this.