Changing Advertising. Two Views.
Two interesting stories that have started a lot of buzz this week. Esther Dyson’s op-ed piece in Wall Street Journal on new thinking about online ads and how this could change the pecking order of many online companies.
He writes: “While the big news in the online world focuses on Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, a more profound revolution is taking place on the online social networks: The discussion about privacy is changing as users take control over their own online data.
The current online-advertising model will become less effective, even as it gets increasingly sophisticated. New players are emer-ging to devalue the spaces that the ad giants are currently fighting over. Companies like NebuAd, Project Rialto (Funded by Alcatel & Lucent), Phorm, Frontporch and Adzilla are pitching tools directly to Internet service providers, that will enable them to track users and show them relevant ads”.
One of the key predictions in Esther Dyson piece is the involvement of uses in the whole thing. A good example of which he feels is travel site Dopplr, where users get together “and list their trips, and see how they intersect with their friends’ itineraries. “Oh, we’ll both be in London April 4? Let’s get together!” Or, “Juan and Alice will be in town next Tuesday. Let’s hold a dinner!” You can imagine or visit equivalent approaches for books (a hypothetical Amazon 2.0, new and more persona-lized), clothes (Glam.com and Stardoll.com), and even money management”
“So what’s the business model? I’ll “friend” British Airways, which will say, “We see you’re going to Moscow next month. Why not fly through London and we’ll give you 10,000 extra miles?” I’m no longer in a bucket of frequent travelers, my privacy protected. I’m an individual with specific travel plans, which I intentionally make visible to preferred vendors. British Airways, of course, will pay Dopplr a handsome sponsorship fee to be eligible to be my “friend”
If friending is what Dyson is talking about Umair Haque is writing in HBR blogs about the need for brands to do less to become relevant.
One of the examples he quotes is of Nike, who are beginning to rethink communications as a set of services that listen to and benefit consumers, instead of impose costs on them.
Like this story in NY Times “…Behind the shift is a fundamental change in Nike’s view of the role of advertising. No longer are ads primarily meant to grab a person’s attention while they’re trying to do something else – like reading an article. Nike executives say that much of the company’s future advertising spending will take the form of services for consumers, like workout advice, online communities and local sports competitions.”
Haique sums up by saying that “Like Google, the Nike guys have come to the conclusion that new sources of advantage must be built on finding ways to invest in consumers – on communications that benefit consumers, not impose costs on them. In turn, these new modes of communication will let Nike talk less – and listen more”