One of the unintended consequences of the fragmentation of the TV and video advertising marketplace, and the ability of advertisers to more precisely target the audiences that see their ads, has been the rise of more “B2B” ads that look like consumer spots.
One of the best recent examples is Adobe’s “Fantastic Voyage” spot featuring the Rolling Stones’ “She’s A Rainbow,” which I can watch over and over and over again, but each time I wonder why they re targeting a broad audience of consumers with a product mainly used by industry pros.
One of the obvious reasons, of course, is that products like Adobe Photoshop are not longer targeting your father’s professionals, but are also tapping into the burgeoning “prosumer” marketplace utilizing the same state-of-the-art tools as the advertising trade.
The prosumer market has been emerging for some time, thanks in part to access to tools like Adobe’s, as well as access to platforms enabling amateurs to become something more.
The market likely was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which encouraged some work-from-homers or displaced workers to pursue their hobbies and/or side hustles in a more gainful way.
And of course, there are meta trends like “influencers” morphing into “creators.”
The result is that the line differentiating consumers from pros is blurrier than ever, as are the media tools they use to market themselves. And now, the advertising campaigns the marketers of those tools use to build their marketplace.
Perhaps the best example of this is the new “Hollywood In Your Pocket” spot from Apple for its new iPhone 13 Pro, which comes out next week, at a starting price of $999, and as the ad implies, puts the equivalent of a Hollywood studio in your pocket -- or the palm of your hand.
Obviously, Apple’s new phone will appeal to the masses for reasons that have nothing to do with aspirations of producing and marketing Hollywood quality content, but that anyone can be a pro if you have one in your pocket should give pause to people who actually work in Hollywood. Or on Madison Avenue.
Two other “B2B” spots I came upon in the past week also use television, CTV, and/or direct-to-consumer video advertising platforms like YouTube to promote access to industrial tools that previously only would have targeted industry pros.
One is from Shutterstock, the stock photo agency that has democratized access to stock imagery, video, sound, etc. for relatively small licensing fees.
The Shutterstock spot, produced by none other than Ridley Scott, is running as a national TV campaign repositioning Shutterstock as a content creation platform, and as such, is aimed at the full spectrum of pro/prosumer/influencer/creator/consumer marketplace.
The most recent spot from Alex Bogusky self-serve video ad creation platform Brandzooka, which also seeks to “democratize the digital media landscape,” but enabling anyone with a credit card to go on, create a spot, and distribute it via the programmatic video marketplace.
What's the takeaway of all these prosumer media technology/platform spots?
As Dave -- your "com-pet-itor" -- says in the Brandzooka spot, "What am I doing? I'm destroying you."