Three Ways to Avoid Being an Invasive Advertiser


March 11th, 2013

It’s no secret that advertisers are looking for new, innovative ways to capture the attention of their audiences. After all, it’s what we are in the business of doing. However, in recent years, some people have claimed they are beginning to be assaulted by ads. This constant incorporation of advertising into new locations and different aspects of daily life has come to be known as “ad creep.”

By definition, most nontraditional marketing and advertising campaigns aim to incorporate a non-conventional “surprise” factor. This could include a promotional image being projected on the side of a building or temporary pop-up displays.

However, sometimes advertisers can take it too far and step into that “taking it too far” category. Here are three examples of what not to do to avoid being an abusive advertiser:

1. Transforming Your Audience into Walking Advertisements, Without Permission

The point of brand ambassadors is to generate positive buzz about your brand. In the example above, text promoting a clothing sale was imprinted on the back of the legs when people would sit on park benches and other surfaces. Forcing unsuspecting people to now become ambassadors has the huge potential to backfire. One social media post is all it takes to generate at PR nightmare.

2. Intruding on Your Audience’s Privacy

ADT Chile

One important element in establishing a relationship with your consumer is trust, because after cultivating this trust, customers are more likely to remain loyal to your brand. ADT slid pop-up boxes under apartment doors to demonstrate the vulnerability of an apartment being broken-in. Without knowing how these boxes were placed inside, it is reasonable to assume that the residents felt as if their personal space was not only violated, but upset at the fact that it appeared as though advertisers broke into their homes for the sake of brand exposure.

3. Interfering with Personal Property

Imagine, returning to your car with armful of groceries and seeing your window shattered or tagged with graffiti. Even if it turned out to be a rouse, it’s doubtful you would be very happy that you were fooled. Avoid damaging, or the even creating the appearance of damaging, personal property if you want you audience to be receptive. Like your mother always reminded you, first impressions do matter; don’t let your first interaction with your target audience be distracted by anger.

Nontraditional marketing campaigns can be highly effective and buzz worthy when executed correctly. When planning, be sure to consider all elements of your campaign and keep in mind the audience’s perception as well.



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