Thursday, June 22, 2006

Getting on Board

The April 3, 2006 issue of Time Magazine ran an article entitled, "Getting on Board." The article focused on how billboards and outdoor advertising are reinventing themselves in the digital age. The medium's rebirth has everything to do with the emergence of the digital billboard. Digital billboards not only allow outdoor advertising companies to increase their profit margins (since the ads rotate and can accomodate more advertisers), but they also provide an evaluation tool for the advertisers to assess how effective their outdoor advertising really is.

This new medium allows advertisers to incorporate interactivity into their ads, allows them to track the "hits" their interactivity produces, and provides a baseline measurement for the effectiveness of their billboard. For example, the article sited a campaign in Britain for the movie Alien vs. Predator. The advertiser incorporated a poll into its advertising - people could text message who they thought would win. During a two-week period measuring 50 interactive ads in the city's rail terminals, 500,000 riders voted on who they thought would win the battle.

What does this mean for the mainline church who may not be able to play on the same budget as Hollywood studios or Fortune 500 companies? The key is to get creative about your advertising. The encouragement is to find ways to measure your ad's impact. Is there a way to incorporate a coupon into your print ad - perhaps for a free cup of coffee at your church's cafe or for a free devotional book? Is there a way to incorporate a pressing question on your billboard and then encourage them to go to your church's website for the answer? What if someone could download directions and service times onto their cell phone after seeing a text message number on a bus?

Soon the days of invite cards and phone trees will be gone. Interactivity is the wave of the future. Take it for a ride.

"It's easier to generate buzz when what you're doing is genuinely cool." - Dody Tsiantar, "Getting on Board" (Time, April 3, 2006, p. A2-A5)


Blogger Cory Miller said...

Jennifer, excellent! Speaking of text messages, my wife and I were at the movies a couple weeks ago ... there was a bunch of teenage boys in front of us and one was typing a text message on his cell phone at probably 30 words a minute. He was FLYING.

Anyway, I thought one of the uses for text messages with ads was during those "previews" at the movies. Let them vote on something through text messages. It'd probably be a hit.

I love the advice about asking a question with a billboard and referring them to a web site. Excellent! I'd love to use it sometime.


2:53 PM  
Blogger jenn_anthony said...

perhaps a Satan vs. Jesus poll like Alien vs. Predator? i know who would win. :-)

10:19 AM  

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