A lot of businesses now are run on faulty models. Things that worked in the past no longer work – they’re broken.
Newspapers run on advertising profit. The length of the papers aren’t dictated by news, or what people want to read about, but by how many pages need to get published for advertising revenue. Virtually all television programming, from the news, to sports and sitcoms, are set to cover certain amount of times to allow for commercial breaks. Guess what – these systems are failing.
Newspapers and Magazines are being bypassed for internet sources, which gives content faster and allows for interaction. Television commercials have become noise that we’ve learned to block out. Not only are people no longer listening, but with the advent of TiVo, DVR, and Internet Streams, commercials can be bypassed completely.
Probably the most interesting commercials I have seen lately have come from Bank of America, and it was with the series ‘America: The Story of Us’ on the History Channel. As the commercial break starts, Bank of America tells its own documentary style story that fits in with the theme of the program. I was really impressed with the quality and how well it fit in. Why did it fit in so well? An article in the NY Times explains that it’s because the first half of the 2-minute commercial was produced by the History Channel. Each of the 12 commercials begin in the same era as the episode it corresponds to, with the 2nd half fast forwarding to modern day and how the bank still follows those same principles.
Interestingly enough, they are not being called commercials, but mini-documentaries, or interstitial content. This type of marketing holds the biggest hope for commercials and advertising because it targets the viewers of the show, preaching to the niche.
Who is your niche? What do your customers care about? Find out what they want, what drives them to your product, and then find ways to market that. Marketing to the masses doesn’t work – think forward and be progressive. The businesses that dont are the ones that are boring and will slowly fall into obscurity.