There’s an unfortunate trend going on as major networks embrace streaming content. Nothing has changed in terms of advertising, other than the vehicle in which the content is now delivered. Television ads are still 30-60 second commercials, but they’re just a lot weirder now because that seems to be the only thing to get us to look up from our number one screen (our phones). The ad recall level for another weird ad cannot be that high, and it’s more of a bother than anything.
Have the media companies learned nothing from Netflix?
Less Disruptive and More Effective Advertising
Netflix and HBO have proven that the subscription model works really well. Consumers are ready and willing to pay for original content and no commercials. Attention is the number one commodity that media companies are bidding for, and nothing makes a program more engaging than no commercials which disrupt the storyline or drag a show that should be 30 minutes into an hour.
The Netflix model works because we can easily binge watch House of Cards or Stranger Things.
One other trend that I touched on a few months ago was product placement. The television show, Jane the Virgin, brought on Target as a partner which created memorable brand experiences as the brand was organically (and sometimes humorously) intertwined into the story. Bravo’s original series, Odd Mom Out, recently used a Chrysler Pacifica to self park on a Manhattan parallel spot. It was glaringly obvious that this was the future of advertising for brands. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, you’re well aware of their affinity for Hyundais.
When brands can be part of the story, consumers will have a better experience and advertisers will be able to place their products in a way that shows the consumer how it works in action. Rather than hiring a star to be a pitchman/pitchwoman, they can now become an influencer.
Influencer Marketing Will Need to Grow Up
The current state of influencer marketing concerns me as well. We’re taking people with large amounts of followers online and having them do the exact same crap as TV commercials. While it kind of works right now, I believe it’s starting to wear on people.
It’s time for influencers to marry their talents with the brands that want to work with them.
There are bigger opportunities for influencers to build relationships with brands that they really believe in and for brands to leverage influence by becoming part of the story naturally. Online influencers should take advantage of the environment that is largely being ignored by the major media companies.
As an influencer, why would you sacrifice your image just to sling a pair of headphones or bathing suit like every magazine ad? And brands, aren’t you piggy backing off of the influencer because of their talents for creating awesome content? Why not play a role in that story rather than be ignored because you’re just another ad?
The Opportunity Is Right Now
If television and influencer marketing evolve the way that I believe they will, then there will be massive opportunities for early adopters (Hint: It’s happening right now). As someone who is passionate about working with small businesses, I can tell you that now is a good time to be working with influencers and story telling with your own brand. It’s exactly why you should be creating your own content and leveraging the content that other creatives create to blend your brand into their next share.
While the big media companies keep making billboards, magazine ads, and really weird television commercials that continue to be ignored, your business could be the one that builds its own story by playing a role in the lives of influencers in an authentic way that stirs their followers to say, “I need that!“