Context: The Next Frontier For Advertising

Forget ROI, forget GRP’s. forget unique selling benefits (please!): in the very near future, as advertising and marketing continues its accelerated evolution in our fragmented, parity world, the discriminating value most critical to brands and brand messages will be context.  And it will directly influence the creative idea.

Context Matters.  It ALWAYS matters.
Context Matters. It ALWAYS matters.

Last year, advertisers posted 3.6 trillion banner ads on the web; that’s 36 followed by eleven zeroes–an unimaginably astronomical number. This exercise in sheer, dunning message tonnage flies in the face of any sort of strategic placement; it represents the ultimate blunt object approach.  But the promise of Web 3.0 and a more discerning, more discriminating web intelligence will only heighten marketers’ ability to target demographics, occasions, moods, and mindframes.  Instead of the time-honored methods of mass impressions, we will be able to focus more tightly and take advantage of the emerging media strategy of ‘overwhelming the niche.’  After all, while few can afford to scream their message indiscriminately to the fragmented masses, most will invest in vehicles that reach their ideal consumer at the ideal time.  They will even be willing to overinvest in those occasions.  This has been the promise that’s fueled mobile marketing for years now despite still sketchy returns.

Context will provide marketers with that edge.  In a world awash in Brandfill, context elevates individual brands in consumers’ minds, providing the ultimate value of engaging relevance.  As we become ever more adept at converting data into information, we become ever more astute at creating context and driving sales.  And yes, even in this data driven approach, inspirational creativity still matters.  What separates the merely effective from the truly exceptional is creativity and its unique ability to inspire and move people.  Ideas will continue to matter; the difference will be the context will influence the creative, making the voice and message far more selective and specific.  And that could be a hill of fun.

If you can put your brand where it’s needed, wanted, valued, or discussed…  If your brand messages prove useful, understanding, appreciated or simpatico…  Simply put, if your brand messages are welcomed into consumers’ lives because their timing is impeccable, you will build an Olympian brand loved passionately by your consumers.

And maybe make advertising something people hate a bit less.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79

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