Mashable has put together its top five advertising trends of 2012. They say the trends are “mostly about the shifting ways that consumers experience content and how publishers hope to harness those experiences.” So pretty much the same as every other year. Here’s the list:
1. Native Advertising
It’s a term that makes us thing of “synergies” and makes us worry that we are going to hear a lot more of it in 2013:
The term “native advertising” was allegedly first introduced by venture capitalist Fred Wilson at OMMA Global in September 2011, but it really picked up steam towards the end of the year. While there’s some disagreement about what native advertising actually is, it is perhaps best summed up by the idea that advertising within a context — whether it’s an app or a content site — should be pretty much indistinguishable to consumers. Thus, Sponsored Stories, Sponsored Tweets and content like “20 Places That You’ve Probably Never Heard of But Should Totally Visit” on BuzzFeed, which is sponsored by Samsung’s Galaxy Camera. The idea seems to be that traditional banner ads won’t work on mobile. With smaller screens (especially on phones), your ad has to work harder to catch the reader’s attention.
2. Action-Based Advertising
This is related to ‘native advertising’, it’s the idea that the consumer (poor online sucker clicking where s/he shouldn’t) has to do something to initiate an ad. When you say it like that, you’d imagine that in some Pavlovian way this is going to teach us what not to do online. But, it seems people like clicking stuff to be fed advertisements.
The trend is driven by smaller screens and the more consumer-ish relationship people have with their mobile devices compared to desktops. For instance, you won’t see a Sponsored Story unless one of your Facebook friends recently interacted with a brand. Other ads can be initiated by sharing a piece of content. Appssavvy, one of the leaders in the space with more than 100 million users on its adtivity platform, claims that such ads get 10 times the click-throughs of traditional banner ads.
3. Location-Based Marketing Cools Off
Slightly disappointed with Mashable. While technically stopping doing something can be considered a trend, it feels a bit cheap. It’s getting pretty easy to see number three on next year’s list: “Native Advertising Cools Off.” Nevertheless some will be happy that this trend is fading away, and that there will be less brands shouting at you to “check in”. If there are no fluffy robes, mini bars, and welcome drinks, you haven’t checked in.
Aaron Strout, head of location-based marketing for the W20 Group, notes, location-based marketing hasn’t gone away. It has just been subsumed by, among others, Apple’s iOS 6. Or, as Strout says, “It’s become part of the electricity.” For instance, when you go to Google.com on the browser of your smartphone, you’ll see five icons: restaurants, coffee, bars, fast food and nearby. That’s a nice utility, but there’s no gamification layer like Foursquare has. Similarly, Apple’s Passbook, which is hard-coded into iOS6, is useful, but not much fun.
4. Daily Deals Cool Off
Really, Mashable? Now a new trend is a failing business model? This trend indicates that massage parlours and asian restaurants are going to be hit the worst with no one wanting to pay full price for a hot stone massage and sushi combo anymore.
Foursquare is a stand-in for location-based marketing in the same way that Groupon is shorthand for the daily deals category. After the frenzy of 2011, including that long-awaited IPO, Groupon’s 2012 was a bad hangover. (LivingSocial, Groupon’s big rival in the segment,doesn’t seem to be faring much better.) Again, the novelty has worn off. But vendors have also questioned the long-term value of the deals.
5. Internet Blackouts
Oh how very post-modern. Not sure how prevalent you have to be to become a trend, but this one is skating on some very irrelevant ice. This is the idea that permed and dyed its hair black when everyone was peroxiding theirs. “Everyone is online and tweeting, what should we do?” “AMISH!”
What do you do when your competitors are asking consumers to tweet, share, like and +1 everything in sight? One solution is to go in the opposite direction and ask them to get off social media and the Internet. That’s how Diesel marketed its 1993 YUK shoe, which it exhumed this year. The campaign asked users to quit Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for two days or just quit Facebook for three days to try to win the shoe. Other far-flung examplesinclude McDonald’s, which promoted Sept. 28 as a “day offline” in Dubai and Telia, a Swedish telecom that created a brand app that disables the Internet for periods. Other pushback includes a campaign from Brut that tried to convince guys to quit Facebook because it’s “unmanly” and an app from Newcastle Brown Ale that exposes your lame motivations for posting photos on social media.
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