The very name “advertainment” sends thrilling vibrations up the spine of anybody with marketing in their blood or communication in their genes. And it produces a strong shiver of disgust from numerous of my colleagues in the music sector.
“I don’t want my songs to be involved in advertising,” they say, forgetting entirely that by wearing branded running shoes, a t-shirt hawking Fender guitars and a baseball cap emblazoned with the Peavey logo, their quite lives are involved in marketing. Plus, if they attend an awards show, they happily state the brand and designer names of everything they’re wearing.
They further ignore the reality that radio itself is a type of advertainment. What gets played has small to do with musical accomplishment or artistic merit, but is straight related to the backing of huge corporate distributors. I have been told to spending budget anywhere from a quarter of a million dollars to $ 350,000 in promotional charges to acquire national radio play on (the appropriately-named) commercial radio stations. Is it any wonder that corporations are in search of ways to create a small brand awareness into the songs?
Turn on any rap, urban or hip hop station and you can commence counting the item mentions in the lyrics, some paid-for, some just happenstance. In the electronic-pop field, I have completed it myself. On my “Electro Bop” album are songs such as “Paranormal Radio” (which starts as a documentary about American Technology Corporation’s HyperSonic Sound technique), “Sheena Sez” (about talk radio host Sheena Metal), and “Examine the Tech” (about the joys of watching the TechTV channel).
Has this advertainment hurt acceptance of the album? Not that I’ve noticed. Numerous e-mails from around the planet cite “Paranormal Radio” as their preferred track. Not a single person has complained about the ad messages, I assume due to the fact the audience for my dance-oriented music is pleased to receive information about technology and a far-out rock-speak jock such as Ms. Metal.
Ads and entertainment go hand-in-wallet in many other ways, some pretty strange. In music alone, we have all wondered about Bob Dylan’s “Really like Sick” in Victoria’s Secret commercials (not to mention Mr. D himself smirking in between shots of the beautiful bodies wearing the lingerie). But do not overlook Keith Richards in the “Cover Girl” ad even though “Honky Tonk Girls” plays, or Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger” in the Herbal Essence spot, or Iggy Pop’s liquor/drug/sex-soaked “Lust for Life” blasting throughout the Royal Caribbean commercials. (Adore to perform with the Account Executive who was in a position to sell that notion!) By contrast, Sting crooning from the back seat of a Jaguar seems a really model of demographic compatibility.
And that’s the point: ads and public relations are routinely dismissed as silly, annoying, intrusive or a waste of time appropriate up to the moment when they are delivering facts the reader or listener wants. Then, suddenly, the sponsored message is viewed as useful and instructive. As a result, the trick is to accomplish the correct match amongst audience and message.
One particular difficulty is picking your media. Just listing advertising outlets can be daunting: Tv, radio, outdoor, newspapers, magazines, transit, direct mail, Internet banner. A lot of of these have subsets: paid inserts (advertorial) in newspapers and magazines, sponsored “newsbreaks” and infomercials on broadcast media, static or animated announcements at stadia, individuals dreaded ‘Net pop-ups, brand names on sports uniforms and equipment (can you say NASCAR?), and so on.
One of the most enjoyable categories for producers of each music and advertising is viral ‘Net marketing, which has had some notable results stories such as BMW Films, the Seinfeld AmEx campaign, and of course, Burger King’s Subservient Chicken.
We haven’t even deemed cooperative advertising, which can be anything from myriad logos at the bottom of an occasion poster to the branded music tones and flashing-light Intel trademark that ends each other commercial for someone else’s laptop or computer merchandise.
But it extends additional. Think about: Magazines that sell cover stories product placement in movies and Tv (and yes, live theater) branded clothing bumper stickers even fliers stuck on parked cars. There are ad messages on private automobiles (and individuals anti-humanistic trucks that some insist are referred to as SUVs). Pull up behind a car in visitors and you can read an ad for the automobile dealership on the license plate frame, plus an additional piece of public relations for the state on the plate itself. (Come on, you do not feel it is hype to put “Land of enchantment” on every automobile licensed in the state of New Mexico?)
You might assume that this plethora of options tends to make it simpler for firms to get their messages across to their targeted demographics, but a excellent situation can be produced for the opposite view. Television audiences are turning to Tivo and pay-per-view. Radio audiences are discovering XM and Sirius Satellite Radio. Newspaper readership is becoming an oxymoron. Motion picture audiences can be heard groaning, mocking or booing the pre-feature commercials.
This means there are a lot of people working on new methods to get the product advantages into the brains of the shoppers. I do it with humorous radio scripts and subliminally seductive music, but there are going to be some innovations in our industry, and at the danger of appearing foolish, I am going to make a couple of predictions. Inside the next few years, we’ll see:
* Debit card scanners in Tv sets, so you can order in the course of a commercial with the flick of your remote.
* Barcodes in songs, so you can download from iTunes by swiping your XM or Sirius player with your Visa or MasterCard.
* Credit cards constructed into wristwatches, so your “plastic money” is constantly close at hand.
* Links to item web sites in each and every scene of DVD motion pictures or personal computer games. Do you want the shoes in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater game? Click-click-click and they’re on their way to you by way of FedEx (note item placement for the big competitor to United Parcel Service).
* Broadcasts of infotainment and advertainment will pop up everywhere: in public restrooms, at the Starbucks, at site visitors signals, at the gasoline pump, on your mailbox, in the packages you purchase, in the parcels that arrive at your door, and so on.
* Captive broadcasts. Just as you can preview the music on packaged CDs (available in EU now, but coming soon to the USA), the product positive aspects, cost points and warranty information will play as soon as you lift up a item in the shop.
* Digitized logo placement in the rebroadcasts of syndicated Television shows (“Hey, we can sell the product placement yet another three instances!”)
* Branded ingredient lists on menus.
* Corporate artwork that takes you on a virtual tour of the firm.
* Interactive advertisements, exactly where you get to play Jerry Seinfeld and/or Superman (or the driver of the BMW) in a 5-minute escape from reality (and from reality Tv).
* Holographic projections of commercials from postage stamps, auto and home keys, magazine covers and ad pages, and so on.
And these are just the alterations we’ll be seeing in the subsequent handful of years. We’re not even discussing the possibilities for advertainment as soon as we move beyond classic broadcast methodology when microchips are embedded beneath your skin, YOU will be the receiver for Television, radio, satellite, telephone, and international positioning method signals. And at that point, the possibilities for advertising and marketing communication by way of advertainment are going to become genuinely mind-boggling.
Are these prospects exciting, frightening, or both? My view is good. After all, a lot of these new types of communication are going to need my scripts and my music.
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