So you’re surfing the web without any Ad Block plugin installed in your browser, because you know that Internet content isn’t free.
And you’re checking out some site and you see an ad for a product that you recently Googled for. Or for a website that you visited the other day. Or for a travel destination that is related to a message board you frequent.
All of these are targeted ads, placed there by the businesses as a way to draw you back to their site to conclude any unfinished business you may have left there.
Building a global brand is the ultimate goal of any major business.
It’s one thing to be successful on a local or hyperlocal level. It’s quite another feat to take that same local presence and expand that to a larger stage. Many have succeeded, but even more have failed at doing so.
A good bowl of cereal and Saturday morning cartoons were a rite of passage for many growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. Today’s kids don’t know what quality kids-oriented TV programming was, since everything now has to be sanitized to ensure that nothing is directly marketed towards kids.
Remember McDonaldland and all the fun characters that Ronald McDonald used to hang out with? Don’t see them much on TV anymore, do you? It’s a surprise that they still show up at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, considering the promotional aspect of having a clown as your spokesman.
Whenever Web Watch travels around the country, we always try to “go local” whenever possible. We can eat at an Applebee’s or a McDonald’s almost anywhere… but we’ll go out of our way to chow down at an IN-N-OUT BURGER or grab a beer at the WYNKOOP BREWERY because, well, we can’t get that stuff locally.
Well, we could if we put some effort into the project, but you know what we mean. When you travel, you want to be like a native. If that means drinking sweet tea while in the South, or grabbing some BBQ in Texas, having a lobster roll in Maine — well, by golly, that’s what we’re going to do.
You see them everywhere you go as you drive through your local suburbs, cruising by the strip mall shopping center:
The sign twirler, sign spinner, human directional sign, sign waver, sign flipper, living sign, or a casual sign holder on a stick . And you always do the same thing as you drive by: “hey, look at that idiot with the sign!”
The Internet is free, right? You have to pay to be online, but once you’re there – the millions of pages of information out there should be yours for the viewing, without being blocked by persistently annoying advertising invading your viewspace.
Web Watch is in a quandray over this – we’re supported by advertising on the site, so why would we want to share with you one simple, easy way to completely block all ads from ever appearing on your computer or WiFi-enabled devices ever again? If this idea takes off, we’ll have to switch to a subscription-based model – but we’d rather not go that route if we can help it.
If you were to pay attention to technology pundits and the general news media, you would come away with the conclusion of, “well, practically nobody”. According to them, all those people who used to be radio listeners are bypassing that “old” technology for new offerings that the Internet has brought to bear, such as Pandora and Spotify. Cellphone playlists. Satellite radio, even, still makes a claim for being a popular alternative to traditional radio listening.
In advertising and when designing websites, lots of research goes into determining exactly how to place specific items onto the page, photo, advertisement in order to determine the best layout.
Stores do this physically, by putting high-demand items (such as milk or perishables) towards the back of the store. Walt Disney did this when he decided that his new theme park needed a “weenie” in the center of the park to act as a magnet, ultimately drawing visitors towards the Castle that’s become a centerpiece of each of the Disney parks to date.
So while it’s easy to determine traffic patterns when people are walking around, how to businesses determine what makes a good print or online layout?
One question that Web Watch hears a lot from our friends is “Why do some businesses use the term THE BIG GAME or PIGSKIN PARTY, while others use the term SUPER BOWL in their promotional material?” We’ve noticed this ourselves, and are often amused at the lengths some companies go to in associating themselves as being a part of the Professional Football Championship Game without actually mentioning any of the NFL’s trademarks.
Web Watch is not a lawyer, nor are we involved/affiliated with the Super Bowl, the NFL, and its various properties – but we can certainly share some of the things that we’ve learned over the years. Take the following as helpful suggestions, but if you are planning on using any of the NFL’s trademarks yourself – you may want to check with your own legal department and/or followup with the NFL themselves for your own DOs and DONTs list. Continue reading WHEN CAN WE USE THE PHRASE “SUPER BOWL”? AND OTHER SUPER LEGALITIES YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF→
Remember the film HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING? It’s about an advertising exec who ends up with a talking zit on the side of his face. Yeah, it’s worth watching.
Or the Dudley Moore film CRAZY PEOPLE, where ad execs decide to get their advertisements written by people in the looney bin (“Volvo: It’s safe, but boxy!”).
How many times have you looked at the TV or radio during a commercial break and mutter to yourself, “Really? Did they REALLY just say that? Do they think we’re idiots?” Without even knowing what you heard, Web Watch is fairly certain the answer to that rhetorical question will be “yes”.