Jul 14, 2009

Give me something I can actually use!

Lately, when I am watching TV, I've found myself more and more distracted during the advertising. I either fast forward because I've DVR'ed it, or I surf online while the ads are on. I get frustrated with the ads entirely and I've noticed that ads that give something more to me, advertisers who give something more to me, get much more of my attention and subconscious appreciation. Seth Godin wrote about this in his blog as well. Providing people with real tangible value, and doing it prior to them becoming a customer - that is, in my opinion, how to hook them. Those that don't provide that value, and just try to disrupt at this point it is noise to me. Like Charlie Brown's teacher -- I don't hear it.
Websites are great for providing something more to a potential customer but I don't see alot of TV ads that really make me feel like they're giving me something more. The Hyundai ads come to mind; they're more than just an obnoxious car advertisement; they actually seem to care about me as a potential car buyer. If I were to lose my job, they'd help me out. Those ads have gotten alot of attention in the advertising world and rightly so; but it's interesting how there's been very little copying of that concept/model. I'm talking outside of the auto industry. Businesses need to continue to communicate their value to customers but if you're value is always the same time and time again, it might be time to shake it up a little and identify additional customer value propositions that are outside of your comfort zone. If you really want me as a customer, you need to give me more than what everyone else in your business gives to me.

Because TV advertising is such a passive medium, it's hard to create an engaging ad that provides additional value to a customer and gets them to actually do something with it. You can educate them/make them smarter but most of the time the engagement will need to come in other ways; online, mobile widgets, twitter activation, etc. The great thing about Twitter or Facebook is that it is relatively new in comparison to traditional media so it's naturally more disruptive and attention grabbing. But it also helps brands and businesses take their customer relationships much further. Does it matter that TV advertising doesn't do that? Maybe not, but I hardly pay attention to ads anymore which makes me wonder how relevant they are and how relevant they will be if they don't give people more than just background noise.