Every day we see, hear, and consume advertisements in an ever increasing number of formats. I will be the first to recognise the irony of me writing this post on a blog that itself serves advertisements via Google Adsense. However, one thing I have come to realise, is that advertising is an unfortunate, necessary evil and one first has to acknowledge that lest they lose their minds.
With the advent of personal TV recorders and time shifting devices such as TiVo which have now been on Australian shores for a few years, control has begun to fall back to the consumer to be able to skip over these advertisements and help to manage at least a portion of what we are consuming. However, the waters are not always as clear as that, in the current season of Masterchef, for example, Channel 10 has started showing ’Masterchef Moments’ about half way through an adbreak. These are clearly designed to confuse the watcher who is fast forwarding through an ad break to think that the show was back on, when in fact, the ‘Moment’ was followed by a sponsor message and then more ads.
When you add these attempts to trick the user to the almost constant product placement throughout shows like Masterchef it becomes almost increasingly difficult (and nigh on impossible) for the average consumer to avoid being bombarded by all these messages. At times this can be overwhelming and stressful, not to mention confusing, especially when mixed messages are being received.
You will note that earlier on I said advertisements are a necessary evil as unfortunately it is something that we have to accept. In order to pay for content (in the context of radio and television) and to ensure the business gets sales and is profitable it is essential for businesses to use advertising and to disseminate their message. However I do feel that businesses need to manage more effectively, the fine line between getting their message across and overloading consumers to the point of pushing them away.
One perfect example of this comes from Neil (a.k.a. @en_gy on Twitter) in which he stated recently: “Dear @Coles. Just left the Waterloo store with a third of what I was going to buy after the #DownDown ad started playing twice in a row”. I too have had a similar experience when at the Coles Concord store in which I just wanted to leave the premises due to the sheer annoyance of the constant flooding of the #DownDown campaign. This bombards the customer within the store, whereby adding to the already large marketing campaign outside the stores via any and all forms of media that Coles seem to be able to get their hands on.
Some of you might say that Coles has themselves a winning mix here, as in fact here I am writing about the very campaign which annoys so many of us, but with Coles and as with Masterchef’s constant bombardment I can happily say that I am starting to vote with my feet. If companies are overloading the customer, like Neil and myself, people will start to vote with their feet, by either leaving the store, or simply changing the channel (as I have done more regularly during Masterchef when I have just been frustrated by blatant product placement).
I think it time companies took a page out of campaigns such as Qantas ‘I still call Australia home’ campaign. I remember reading some time back in an in-flight magasine that the reason we see this ad so infrequently, is to ensure that on the rare occasion we do see the ad it has that same effect that it had had the first time we saw it (and in some cases a more profound effect).
Do you find that the overload of advertisements from every possible media format is becoming too overwhelming? Furthermore are individual campaigns losing their effect by their sheer saturation of use and beginning to drive customers away? I would love if you could post your thoughts below, and if you are bored and could spare a minute to share on Twitter or Facebook that would be AWESOME!
I think at very least, if we are in store spending our money there, the campaign has worked. At least spare the consumer( and Coles staff) further bombardment and make the experience enjoyable so the consumer wants to come back!!
I have to agree with you there Jo-Anne, and you know I hadn’t considered that, the poor staff must be going SPARE with it (or have since become so used to it that it is just white noise to them now).
I wonder, can you have insanity by #DownDown put on your death certificate BWAHAHAHA.