Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Think of your ads as content, not ads

People don't avoid ads simply because they're ads. They avoid ads because they're not entertaining. Or because they're not targeted. Or because they're not informative. Or because they're just plain crappy. But give people something good to watch, and they just might stay tuned--even if what they're watching is a big ol' ad.

That's the thinking behind some new ads on MTV and elsewhere, as the New York Times reports:

[A] short chase movie called “Get Moe,” intended to look like an ersatz “Bourne Ultimatum,” is actually a series of 60-second commercials for Mountain Dew. A series of shorts called “Men of Action” thrusts the heroes into violent confrontations that somehow promote the virtues of KFC and Kay Jewelers. The stars of the CMT network’s top series “Trick My Truck” appear in a series of spots featuring tips on how to maintain your tricked-out truck, including the timely use of oil from Exxon.
The strategy is called "podbusting," and while not entirely new, it's on the rise as DVR services like TiVo become more popular:

Dario Spina, who handles the same job for MTV’s entertainment channels like Comedy Central and Spike, said of countering the digital video recorder, “That’s the idea here; we want to blur the lines between the commercial breaks and the entertainment content.”

[...] “Viewers keep watching right through the commercial,” Mr. Spina said, adding that “good commercial content is good content.”
Whether or not podbusting is a good fit for your brand, the last quote from Spina is worth remembering. People go to their screens--whether that's a TV, a PC monitor, or a cell phone--when they want good content targeted at their interests. Make an ad with that standard in mind, and you're more likely to reach your audience. Ignore that standard, and you risk wasting a lot of money.

Hat tip: AdPulp

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