Even though I don’t have an iPhone, Droid, or Blackberry (feel free to hook me up if you have an extra), I am very passionate about innovation. My interest, as inadequate as that term is, centers on communication. I’m a marketer, or at least I’m becoming one, and in my field communication takes the form of advertising and promotion. Therefore innovative advertising is extremely interesting to me.
In my opinion, ambient media currently sits at the apex of promotional innovation. Already in wide spread use in Europe, South Africa, and Australia, this innovative medium is quickly permeating American advertising. So what is ambient media exactly? It’s essentially communication and advertising that occurs in non-traditional ways via everyday surroundings. For instance, a life insurance carrier may forego television commercials promoting their policies and place decals on railings at the Grand Canyon to subliminally illustrate the protective benefits having life insurance. (If you are an advertiser who plans on capitalizing my idea there, you will owe me a royalty.)
As newspaper, television, and radio advertisements become increasingly irrelevant, especially to Millennials, ambient media will play a greater role in promotion. Adverting agencies will need to prepare for and capitalize on an onslaught of demand for abstract and/or non-traditional promotional services if they hope to survive. Sure, any agency under the sun can take advantage of ambient media, but very few will use it correctly and effectively. Smart agencies will have to invest in creative, think-outside-the-box human capital. Students who aspire to be advertisers will have to differentiate themselves and demonstrate their abstract thinking and design skills.
It doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to understand that the world is constantly changing, but to understand how to react to that change is difficult. Intelligence, patience, work ethic and a whole lot of creativity are needed to effectively embrace change. Advertising is beginning to shift in favor of ambient media, so it’s in a marketer’s best interest to prepare for and espouse this innovation. Set some time aside each day to develop your creativity, study how people interact with their surroundings, and consider how you respond to external stimuli. You might discover new opportunities or new ways of thinking that can help you embrace change and prepare for the future.