Which is More Flexible?

There’s no question that guerilla marketing and non-traditional media give advertisers more flexibility than more traditional forms of advertising. In fact, it has become sooooo flexible that it has given us everything from forehead advertising to baby carriage billboards.

Non-traditional marketing and media have transported us from advertising on the outside of a building to advertising inside its bathroom. We’re not only able to show a commercial on someone’s TV, but we’re able to show that same commercial inside their elevator at work, and even in the back seat of their livery cab on their way home at night.

Over the past few years, and gaining much momentum over the past several months, we’ve seen the practice take on a life of its own. I’d say that anything is possible, but maybe it’s more fitting to say that anything is for sale.

As you may have read, British college students are selling advertising space on their foreheads for a rate of about three bucks an hour. In Copenhagen, for around $750, you can push your product on Mom’s baby carriage. And for a fee, I’m pretty sure you can find someone who’ll let you advertise on their dog.

There have been many eligible bachelors across the country who have utilized billboard trucks to help them find their mates. One guy who had a board outside his home got more than 60 replies within a month. If he managed to date at least one of the respondents, that’s a pretty low cost per acquisition. Perhaps a future news story will discuss his ROI….

Here’s a series of rhetorical questions: Will these tactics sell products? Perhaps. Will they build buzz? Probably. Will they get press? Well, this article got published, didn’t it?

As long as it’s consensual, I see nothing wrong with the increased pervasiveness and the increased creativity of advertising. It’s certainly cheaper than other forms of marketing. It lets agencies (and bachelors) have some fun with the world around them, and gives people something to talk about.

Here’s my only concern: The press written about these new types of crazy marketing tactics, this article included, seem to be about the marketing, not about the product. Will anyone remember who is advertising on foreheads, baby carriages and dogs? Wouldn’t it be more productive to develop non-traditional advertising campaigns whose venues compliment the products that are doing the advertising so that we actually remember the products? Anyway, it’s just a thought.

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