Advertising Trends for 2012

advertising 2012

So I’m a week or two late with my predictions, but these are the big advertising trends I see happening in 2012.  I’ll be discussing these on ABC Radio tonight with James O’Loghlin.  If you disagree then please let me know here, or call in tonight. 
The Context
Advertisers are (slowly) coming around to the idea that all advertising is going to work harder if it involves a degree of participation from the consumer. This coupled with smart phone and social media technology means that interactive messaging will become the dominant force.  Couple this with increasingly expensive space in traditional media (same amount of space many more brands wanting it), and consumer control of messaging means that traditional advertising will become less effective per dollar spent.  With this context in mind here are the big (and small) trends for 2012. 
The Trends
1. Advertising Platforms as Content
Masterchef is sponsored by a well known retailer, Coles.  It has been a massive success because a) it’s great TV, but b) it has a natural synergy with its biggest sponsor that can then help co-promote the show.  The sponsor will also act as a platform of multiple levels of sponsorship, from a multitude of brands, all of whom fit naturally into the show (in fact they help build the shows credibility.  Watch out for networks building show platforms that are natural places for brand and product integration.

2. Video and Audio Print
2011 saw a few examples of video enabled and audio enabled print.  We now have the technology, and the price has come down sufficiently for advertisers who want to stand out to embed their favourite video content into the traditional magazine environment.  Magazines may be become noisier – but it seems fun. Check out this attempt by Peroni, via Mumbrella.

3. Consumer Completion
OK so it’s not new, and really had it’s breakthrough in around 2009, but the trend of asking consumers to finish the marketing off for us, aint going anywhere. You’ll be asked to like things on Facebook, Twitter certain things on, name new flavours, write the script, star in the ad, or send a message to the CEO.  All in the name of to brand wanting to give the consumer a sense of ownership. This is a nice example of people being allowed to become members of the crew for the latest AAMI ad via Facebook. (image via campaign


4. Dirty Realism
You’ll see less glamour and polish and more everyday people – as we demand authenticity from our advertising.  We’ve seen reality TV blossom over the last 10 years, and documentaries become as mainstream as fiction in cinema. However, some deluded marketers insist on portraying shiny, happy people in their advertising.  It doesn’t work like this anymore.  We purchase the majority of our brands, primarily to reflect who we are and our tastes, not to show who we aspire to be.  Expect to see more average looking people in advertising commercials (AMMI makes a pretty good example of this too!). We’ll see more reality in advertising in 2012 and beyond.
5. Geosocial Offers
Offers and promotions that take place through social media and are activated when you are at a certain place at a certain time.  I Imagine this will become mainstream quickly.  Here are two promotions that have had mixed and very good success for McDonalds and Dominos pizza respectively. Wagamama did something in Australia recently too, offering free soups to people who checked in 5 times or more.  Expect more soon. In fact every major retailer will soon offer them I expect.

6. Gamification
OK so it was the buzz word of 2011, but I think it will be a significant trend of 2012.  If you can have people spend time with your brand, whilst at the same time offering them an experience they enjoy – then why wouldn’t you.  We created a game that finishes this week – Steal Banksy. The success has been phenomenal.  We offered a two prizes to the value of $20,000 but gamified the mechanic (you had to steal the prize to win) this created a level of engagement with the promotion far beyond what would have otherwise happened.

One Trend that may die (or morph)
1    Group Buying
I think people will realize that there are only so many dog washing services they need, or aromatherapy classes they can attend before the group buying sites have a very quick fall from grace.  That said, they may well respond with a fundamental change of offer that makes them stronger than ever.