Years ago, things in the business world began to change. The vast, and technology ridden entertainment market started growing into an unusual mold that the rest of the professional world was not completely anticipating, nor were they ready for. On demand entertainment became the trend that so many deliverers of the medium opted for, due to the overwhelming response from the media consuming public. Which may not seem like an impactful change for the rest of the business world, but in point of fact it was. The rest of the corporate titans watched with bated breath as the very landscape before them started to twist and change.
The reason this was such a monumental change all around, was that most of the other industries out there had been relying on the growing popularity of the entertainment industry to market their own products and services through various means of advertising tie-ins. But as digital media changed and new technological advances were created to assist in the consumption of it, studies began to surface showing that the public was no longer being forced to endure the commercials that once accompanied their favorite shows and songs. Marketers began to scramble, looking for new and effective means to take their message to the public. Ways to grab their attention when they were unplugged from their virtual worlds through their digital accessories. And they turned those efforts, to the streets.
In Your Face Advertising
Viral marketing campaigns, also known as Guerrilla Advertising, started to flood the streets with some truly inspired and creative displays of imaginative advertising. All over the world, companies were taking their messages back into the real world for a way to reconnect with the audiences they were losing in the digital realm. And it worked. These new viral marketing campaigns were such a success, that they proved the people were still receptive to the marketers message, they simply needed to alter their approach. The public had grown tired of the same old advertising games that had been played to virtual death. So much so, that they clamored to tech advances that allowed them to brush these advertisements aside. So they adjusted.
The companies needed a fresh approach. Some marketing tactics that could hopefully reawaken the public’s excitement and receptability to their messages. And they found a way to invade the public’s space, so to speak, and get right in our faces so that we cannot ignore their advertising anymore. And this is the important lesson for any brand out there looking to still effectively market themselves to a public that has all but shut them out from the digital landscapes that we once relied so heavily upon to reach the masses. And while social media has given some ground back to advertisers in the online world, many businesses have found ways to employ the viral campaign approach offline and really grab the public’s attention.
Some Examples Before We Proceed
Below are just a couple of examples of ways that the big businesses have really stepped up to the plate, and knocked this concept out of the park. Raising the bar and expectations of the masses to be engaged in a whole new way. So many vibrant and inventive approaches being taken that they are sure to get your inspirational fires burning.
But What About the Little Fish?
We are not all big fish swimming around in the full open market, some of us are smaller fish trying to make our impressions in smaller bodies of water. We are not competitors, vying for a piece of the proverbial global pie, so how can we effectively employ these kinds of tactics for our business on a much more modestly budgeted approach? Well, in that case, you have to look at the ideas behind the viral ad campaigns that make them successful, and scale them to fit your needs accordingly. It is not just the cash that makes the splash, and we have to realize this to .
Us little fish could use the benefit of the ingenuity that gave rise to this in your space and in your face approach, too. We just don’t have the means to necessarily pull off the same level of the campaigns featured so far. But again, that does not mean that we have to be left out in the cold. Given that our pond is so much more refined when working more locally, we simply need to distill the ideas into their simplest form in order for them to transfer to our range of play so that we can go viral in our own markets.
Imagination is Key
When you begin dissecting this approach, the first element that immediately screams out at you, is the overflow of imagination that exudes from this brand marketing strategy. Creativity is not something that is by any means absent from the advertising field, but these campaigns to elevate the market into new heights for sure. So as you opt for this route for your own business, you have to acknowledge that this playing field is something a little different from the other landscapes through which you have carried your brand. Here, imagination is paramount, so forget the box. The box is no longer your friend. You must operate outside it from this moment forward.
What you have here is a chance for you to essentially rewrite the rules of your own marketing approach. Using the creative efforts that paved this way as a virtual launching pad for your own creative insights and inspirations to take off from, you can let your imagination soar to new avenues of public accessibility for your brand. The streets open up a whole new world at which to artistically approach the marketing matter at hand. No longer being held back by the limits or confines of the page or billboard’s restricted reach when dealing with the public on the streets. So look around at new and exciting ways that you can reach out to your public for this viral ad brand approach.
As your dissection of marketing means continues, another element of these viral marketing campaigns that your brand can find ways to harness in more subdued manners is the altered perspective. Brands have taken years establishing their marketing reach into the public, and in doing so, have created an impression among the masses on how this relationship works. Expectations have been built up on both sides as to how this interaction is supposed to unfold, and where it is supposed to lead. Expectations that were not being met en mass by the public, which is what led to this revised marketing approach. Which means, that it is time for our brands to add the proverbial spice to this relationship.
This offers you a chance to change how the public sees your brand. As we mentioned before you are essentially rewriting the rules here, which means that you are also rewriting the rules of engagement. Out with the old and in with the new. The way you were perceived by the public, was largely sold through the passivity of the past, and now you have an opportunity to shift that perception as well. Through these new marketing campaigns you can change your own perspective to see this relationship in a whole new light. Once you see the relationship differently, your altered perspective will become contagious and the public will adopt one as well. Engage them in a whole new way, and their view of the relationship will shift also becoming more involved in the process and relationship once again.
Beyond the Fourth Wall
Speaking of this new engagement of the public, the next element of the viral marketing campaigns under the virtual microscope, deals with this new way to reach out to the masses. Going beyond the fourth wall, breaking the traditional marketing rules and getting into the public’s spaces. Like actors working with no fourth wall, the public is directly engaged without the traditional barriers that are in place with standard marketing approaches. No more passive ads waiting to be viewed, businesses are wanting to reach beyond the billboard and interact with the audience. These ads are to be experienced.
Now that you have distilled the idea, you need to find ways to break the fourth wall with your slice of the public. Get out there and into their spaces to interact and become an unforgettable part of their day. Implanting the seeds that you once relied on more traditional means to make their way into the fertile fields of the public’s minds. Taking to the streets with these new approaches, effectively breaks this fourth wall for you, but there are still ways to continue pushing forward with this direct engagement of the masses. The response so far is indicative that the public is receptive to this new development in the marketing field, so if they are embracing it, then the businesses all need to reach beyond the fourth wall and not look back.
The Captive Audience
As the dissection continues of the viral ad approach, one element that comes as no surprise, mainly because it has been a media constant for generations throughout the various mediums, is that must never fail to capture the public’s attention. The captive audience is the audience who consumes. The rule has been heard in journalism classes across the globe and on blog posts offering advice to bloggers all over, you need a headline that grabs the reader, essentially forcing them to continue reading onward beyond the titillating title to see what more the article or blog post holds. The same rule applies here, just the headlines are not as clearly defined.
In this case, the headlines are more of an abstract, a means to the end, if you will. And it is up to you to know enough about your audience, or the audience you are attempting to reach to make this connection with them through this new ad route. You want to hold your audience as captive with your ad as possible, or take it more literally and simply expose them to your logo or brand slogan as they linger in the pauses that fill so much of their days. The streets offer you so many new opportunities to reach out to the public with your marketing campaign and hold their attention there in your ad as their day unfolds.
The Power of Print
Another stop along this route to finding more budgeted and reasonable ways to make this viral marketing campaign work on a smaller scale, is to honor the power of print. The roots that this expanded market grew from, are still the means by which this approach can be achieved effectively given that you are taking this beyond the digital realm and into the streets. These campaigns are simply the evolution of the printed ads brought into a more interactive and physical realm, and so we have to continue to think of them in terms of their printed roots. Even in so far as bringing those stagnant ads to life off of the page in more abstract and imaginative ways.
Especially in the smaller markets where a lot of brands exist or are looking to start up, there are some return to basics kinds of solutions to these new market questions. As overwhelming as it may seem to get this sort of marketing campaign going, the power of print can really be the spark you need to fall back on to light the fires and get them burning. Stickers, flyers, postcards, etc all work well for initially getting your message in the public’s spaces and in their faces. Granted it is not as grand as some of the approaches featured here, but stickers are still interactive, and add an element of tagging. Just like some of the more graphic graffiti being crafted in this vein. These smaller ad approaches can quickly spread through a small area, ending up all over the streets. Taking and tagging your logo throughout your local markets.
A Whole New World
With this imaginative trend on the rise, businesses looking to keep their brand effective and visible are adopting this approach. Turning to graphic graffiti, leaving their logos on the streets to keep ahead of the marketing game. And with the some of the driving ideas distilled from these approaches, even smaller businesses can get into the game and effectively market themselves once more.
A Few More Examples For the Road
Below we have a few more examples for you to look at on ways that some companies have tackled this graphic graffiti issue for their own brands, in hopes that they will plant a few seeds in your imagination. Most of the examples were gotten at a great site called Creative Guerrilla Marketing, where you should go for even more fantastic examples of this marketing technique in action. So many brilliant applications to learn from and grow your own brand’s approach.