Ambient Media In The Background



The media buyer from a well known chocolate company went to the Pope and offered £1,000,000 if the pontiff would change the Lord’s prayer from “give us this day our daily bread” to “give us this day our dairy milk”. This would be the ultimate in ambient media advertising. The Pope was outraged by the suggestion saying that the prayer was the word of God. OK £2,000,000 says the media buyer! Again the Pope refused saying the Lord’s prayer was surely the word of God. Not to be put off his ambient media coup the buyer says. “OK £5,000,000 is my final offer”.

Next day the Popes convenes his Cardinals to say “the good news is that the Church has come into £5,000.000. The bad news is we lost the Hovis account”.

Ambient media is a niche sector of the advertising market where product and service company names appear on all kinds of extraordinary communication spots. So it can be on the back of bus tickets, the handle of your wonky shopping trolley or in the firework display of the local school fayre.

Ambient media famously includes projecting huge images on the sides of buildings, or shaping hot air balloons into brand images. Have you seen the Cadbury Caramel Bunny? The general term for the objects that carry the advertising messages is ambient media. As a result of this new usage of the word ‘ambient’, generally used in relationship to something that is in the immediate environment, is now becoming less defined.

How effective is ambient media advertising. Novel ideas and striking presentation create brand awareness the first few time they are used but does it contain the seeds of its own destruction. Because once the approach is copied and becomes fairly common, it stops having the ‘wow’ factor.

Measuring the ‘real’ impact of Ambient Media as a product can be complicated as more often than not it takes Television & Press Coverage to attract the wider public interest. Of course advertising isn’t just about increasing actual sales revenue. As any econosurmist would tell you it is also about being a barrier to entry into the market for new companies. To capture market share any new entrant to a market would have to at least match the marketing and advertising spend of the current biggest player.

Of course the beauty of ambient media is that it reaches huge audiences at the same time and plants the company brand firmly in the mind of the public without being overly pushy.

The advertising industry is intrinsically, dynamic and permanently thirsty for new ways in which to get across their messages to the consumer. It is now at a stage of development where innovative, original and exciting forms of advertising promotions are vital in order to satisfy the ever-increasing expectations of the client companies in their needs to sell their products or services. Look out for ambient media to become the vehicle of choice for those advertisers.