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WORLDWIDE MULTI MEDIA MEASUREMENT 2006 part 5 / NEW APPROACHES AND FRESH PERSPECTIVES

Cows in jackets Can ambient media fight the effect of mass media fragmentation? Daniela O. Krautsack Thomas Aust PREFACE

BACKGROUND

This paper addresses the opinion and the mood of consumers towards their usage of traditional and nontraditional / ‘ambient’ media in 20 cities worldwide. Capturing the enthusiasm and frustration about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ advertising and the attitude about ‘new’ and ‘odd’ places where advertising is found these days builds the basis of this consumer research which was carried out via interviews of randomly selected people on the street. Experts from the communication, marketing and research industry were questioned how they see the consumer tick today and what measurement methods are put in place to evaluate the effectiveness of their ambient media campaigns.

Although ambient media has been around for decades, the category has exploded in recent years. The factors that contribute to the uncountable number of vehicles and places where advertising can nowadays be found is an increasingly fragmented mass media market, additional competition from Internet and the desire to target people at precisely timed moments when they feel most receptive to receive an advertising message. Even though the current hypothesis is that ambient media will not substitute traditional media, such as TV, radio and print, the perception of this emerging category is to be a complement for the reach and final resonance the various forms have at consumer level. Having observed and worked in the field of ambient media since 1998, this research study seeks to give an update of the awareness level and the significance of non-traditional / ambient media formats and find guidelines of how advertising should be created for the consumer to accept, react and interact with it. The aim to find measurement tools to evaluate the effectiveness of this vast media category was a focus and will remain one. Studying ambient media campaigns around the world, listening to the enthusiasm, frustration and strong opinions of an advertising literate consumer group in different cities and cultures around the world and trying to find correlations to what those who create and those who pay for advertising intended

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WORLDWIDE MULTI MEDIA MEASUREMENT 2006 part 5 / NEW APPROACHES AND FRESH PERSPECTIVES

to communicate was among the highlights of a 14 months expedition which started in February 2005. (See table 1.) Table 1 Conducted street interviews and expert interviews by city City

No. of street

Age group 14-24

No. of expert

25-39

ATTITUDE TOWARDS TRADITIONAL MEDIA Consumers think that traditional media is oversaturated. Although especially the young target audience seems to despise TV (“there’s just too much crap on TV”, “TV is evil”, “I don’t watch any local Television in this country, there is far too much emphasis on reality television”), the top of mind campaigns mentioned by most of the respondents were seen on TV.

Buenos Aires

40

18

22

20

Sao Paulo

20

13

7

15

Santiago

40

20

20

21

Miami

20

4

16

5

New York

50

30

20

32

Chicago

30

12

18

4

San Francisco

35

26

9

9

OOH CLUTTER HARMS PEOPLE’S SENSIBILITY

Los Angeles

30

19

11

7

Toronto

30

17

13

10

Auckland

35

24

11

6

Sydney

50

26

24

16

Melbourne

30

21

9

7

Tokyo

10

5

5

12

The response of most Americans we interviewed about non-traditional media locations that come to mind was that you can just about make it to the shower and back in the morning without encountering advertising. Consumers feel that the amount of noise in the marketplace is increasing.

Hong Kong

30

11

19

13

Mumbai

40

22

18

9

Not only are traditional formats still the best means to make brands massively known, they also give prestige to brands appearing there, say media experts worldwide but add that television is, in many cases, necessary but not enough.

“We live in New York. I expect advertising everywhere, like anywhere you can post a poster”, “It is 20 5 15 8 Hamburg everywhere, every window, every crack, every car 20 4 16 10 Paris has an advertisement on it, it makes me sick”, “In 40 12 28 20 London an area like this (Times Square) you can’t recognize 20 8 12 11 Amsterdam anything. There is so much advertising there, one 35 18 17 5 Vienna does not distinguish against the other. Obviously in a situation where it isn’t so busy, you probably notice TOTAL 625 315 310 240 a specific one” and “Everywhere I go, everyone is trying to sell me something. It feels like you cannot The street interviews were randomly selected people. have a normal life experience without advertising The number of participants in this qualitative research coming into the picture” were answers frequently heard from people we interviewed on the streets. study is lower in Asia due to language difficulties. The last interviews were held in April 2006. The paper reveals key opinions of consumers. The detailed analysis of all 865 interviews will continue throughout 2006.

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Communication experts in highly cluttered cities, such as New York, share the consumers’ point of view: “The moment you step outside it’s at your gas pump, in the elevators, the urinals and on the zebra stripes of major crossroads. It’s just everywhere. That trend is




WORLDWIDE MULTI MEDIA MEASUREMENT 2006 part 5 / NEW APPROACHES AND FRESH PERSPECTIVES

not going to diminish. We get a lot of stuff for free and subsidized because it is advertising supported. There are a lot of complaints about over commercialization and they are valid. It is kind of a deal with the devil that we made a long time ago and have reaped all kind of benefits from. Certainly the entire media culture we owe to advertising. Everything from the moon shot to the Kennedy assassination to the fall of the wall was directly or indirectly a result of media that was underwritten by advertising. People have been willing to make that deal and they have gotten a lot of benefits from it. At some point societies revolt and say ‘There was an electronic billboard installed on my eyelids last night while I was sleeping and I just won’t take it anymore.” (Bob Garfield/US)

People in cities surrounded by nature (e.g. Auckland, Sydney) recognize OOH media to a much higher extent than people who live in cities with high clutter.

With the increased clutter comes a blur of sounds and sites. Consumers zoom out and become numb to what screams at them 24/7. What technology offers TV viewers with TiVo (US DVR system) today (which is enabling them not having to watch and listen to commercials) the human mind still manages through simple strategies:

There is a risk that irresponsible use of city space might result in the ban of OOH advertising in city centres one day.

“If I don’t want to see anything, I walk up Park Avenue because there is no advertising. This is a city where you look at people more than anywhere else. There is enough going on. If you really want to get involved in what’s happening in the street you just walk over to Times Square. That is the true ambient media. When you walk down the street, every way you look there are signs, there are lights and there is media and it’s moving.” (Andy Langer/Lowe Worldwide - US)

“Yes, it speaks to me and yet at the same time I am really offended. The position of my awareness is that it is not chosen. I don’t mind looking in a magazine because I know there are ads there and I can ignore them. But on the side of every building and under my foot, in the gum wrappers and fortune cookies - can you imagine, putting advertising in fortune cookies? I hate it, there is nothing I despise more than intrusion and warranted inappropriate attacks on my sensibility.” (Milton Glaser)

Consumers in cities with less clutter in the OOH environment (e.g. Montreal, Paris) appear less aggressive against the high number of messages that bear the opportunity to see. Consumers in Europe mention the great advertising executions they see during their sight-seeing trips in New York (the billboards on Times Square are mentioned to have reached ‘iconic’ status) and Tokyo while consumers living in these cities are overstrained with OOH advertising.

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There is a tendency that cities aim to reduce OOH advertising space. This reflects a development of authorities and residents arguing that billboards damage both aesthetics and traffic safety. While outdoor advertisers insist that billboards are a time-honoured mode of communication that imparts useful information, the response of the majority of Latin American participants to this research was that they like the creative use of OOH media because it beautifies scruffy buildings and an unattractive city environment.

THE RISK OF ANNOYANCE AND INTRUSION Getting close to the consumer bears the risk to intrude their private sphere.

How far does the rise of technology in media go? Levi Strauss & Co. has tested installing RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags on clothing that was shipped to stores in Mexico and the U.S. The initial tests are designed to track inventory, not people, Levi’s says. The clothing manufacturer has said that it will not use the radio frequency identification tags in Levi’s brand stores.




WORLDWIDE MULTI MEDIA MEASUREMENT 2006 part 5 / NEW APPROACHES AND FRESH PERSPECTIVES

Still, the move has touched off a new round of complaints from privacy advocates, who object to the use of RFID tags on any level because of the potential of an invasion of privacy. Conceivably, assuming that the people who buy the test-case Levi’s clothing do not have the RFID tags removed, someone with an RFID reader could track the movements of people based on what they are wearing. (Piers Fawkes / PSFK) People who watch futuristic media scenarios in Hollywood movies, such as ‘Minority report’ fear what might happen to their privacy. RFID tags included in clothing and linked to credit card information might result in customized target group approach through media on the street. Consumers are advertising-conscious and aware of the risk of privacy intrusion that future technology might hold.

people reject flyers, perceive the vehicle as ‘poor’ and condemn the pollution created through flyers being thrown away. Attractive models distributing product samples along with flyers improve the resonance of the target group. Consumers like the way a good and well-placed creative campaign improves their urban environment. In Sao Paulo’s parks, meadows and flowerbeds under trees are adorned with logos of prosperous brands. While critics see it as violating another public piece of property, advertisers and their clients view it as an improvement of the urban landscape that the population benefits from. The recreation of parks is perceived by consumers as a social action. Where governments fail to improve the urban environment, brands do it through sponsorship.

There are certain moral codes when selecting where ATTITUDE TOWARDS NON-TRADITIONAL MEDIA and how to appear. Using non-conventional means of communication is perceived by consumers as a renewal in the way brands address them.

Messages should definitely fit the environment and not appear anywhere. According to a Millward Brown study, advertising appearing directly on food may draw attention, but also generates a strong feeling of “I notice advertising on bathroom doors at restaurants. rejection. Food is sacred to people. I find it’s interesting, because it is a different location and a different way of advertising than the standard.” Toilet advertising is still the number one answer world“Sky writing is quite cool. It doesn’t make me want wide when asking consumers about unexpected to buy their products, but at least I notice it, there is advertising spots. About half of those who mention some skill involved.” “Stuff on the ground is interesting. having noticed advertising outside of ‘the norm’, mention Stuff, people draw or paint, I don’t know if they do it toilets (respectively the backside of toilet doors). at night, in secret. But it is cool.” “Chalk, it’s smart, it’s The most frequent quote in Sydney which is sureasy, it’s cheap, it’s interesting”. “I like the fact that the rounded by beaches is skywriting. Especially young scaffolding is covered with ads. It is something to look consumers who spend a lot of their spare time at at, graphics are fun, and you know what’s going on.” the beach notice the ‘flying billboards’. Even here, Using new forms of media allows the creation of the conclusion is: the better the link to the product, a relationship and emotional interaction with the the funnier the message, the higher the awareness consumer. They mention a feeling of satisfaction factor. Airplanes pulling banners (‘sky banners’) when receiving a product sample and perceive it as are less attractive than airplanes writing logos and a gift from the brand: “Sometimes you don’t expect messages into the sky. People acknowledge the it, next thing you know you got a little flyer. If it’s flying skills of pilots who draw letters into the sky and a sample, that’s the best form of advertising”. Due mention that it is advertising ‘not in our face’ – to the enormous advertising clutter on the street, ‘it comes and goes and doesn’t’ handicap me’.

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WORLDWIDE MULTI MEDIA MEASUREMENT 2006 part 5 / NEW APPROACHES AND FRESH PERSPECTIVES

Creativity, inventiveness and knowing how to use the environment to transmit the benefits of products being advertised are appreciated by consumers when designing ambient media campaigns. The consumer is invited to think and applauds for the creativity they find. Another interesting finding is that hardly any ambient campaign that advertising experts mentioned was known by consumers on the street. Only ADIDAS’ creative OOH and ambient campaigns were recalled in the whole of Asia. WHAT MAKES CONSUMERS TICK? Advertising expert’s opinions reveal that the iPod campaign is a best-in-class example of the power of design rather than simply telling a story. The creative concept of the campaign which strongly focussed on graphics and music was accepted by the core target group of 14-39 year olds. Seventy-five percent of all people participating in the interview mentioned the iPod to represent ‘the product to have’ to be hip and cool and trendy. This result does not surprise when correlating the response to the answer that 50% of all interviewees gave to the question of what makes them enthusiastic: Music. Martin Lindström who analyzed the senses surrounding brands says: “Smell is connected to memory, sound is connected to mood. Sound does in fact generate mood. It creates feelings and emotions.”

Word-of-mouth seems to have been one of the reasons to create a trend and a must-have effect. What drove the impact of the iPod campaign? The traditional media campaign with its TV commercials, magazine insertions and billboards? The wild posters alongside frequented roads and locations where young people hang out? Or was it the buzz created in the media? Sky News reporting about the top titles one need to have on their iPods. Interviewing George Bush live on Sky News about his itunes list of songs and hearing when and how he uses his new iPod shuffle raises the question what makes the brand a long-term piece of aspiration. Or is it the stylish design or eventually the product that served the target group’s need? Our theory is that the Apple campaign plays with the touch, hearing and sight senses of the consumer (colourful visuals with the key visual of white earplugs, cool contemporary music and the stylish design of the iPod that people view as a piece of luxury). The iPod campaign proved one thing: It understood what consumers want: a useful device, a stylish product, music on-the-go. Apple created a consumer’s response that we heard from Buenos Aires to New York and Tokyo: ‘I can’t live without it anymore’. SO - WHAT DOES ADVERTISING HAVE TO HAVE IN ORDER TO BE RECOGNIZED? When asking consumers what an advertising message needs to be like to stand-out, they answered:

Christian Koch is one of the worlds leading scientists, teaming up with Nobel price winner Francis Crick to search for the neurological seed of consciousness.

• funny • subtle but attractive • short • witty Koch had his “Apple tattoo”, his personal ambient • bright media format, done while he was on an archaeological • colourful dig in Israel. Certain brands reflect a strong sense of • unique purpose. Their followers are more than devoted fans. • humorous / dramatic Their message (“think different”) points out that at the • with good music core of the Apple brand is a philosophy that guides its • controversial users which is far deeper than its stunningly stylish technology.

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WORLDWIDE MULTI MEDIA MEASUREMENT 2006 part 5 / NEW APPROACHES AND FRESH PERSPECTIVES

Our research shows that half of the time, when respondents recall the advertisement, they can’t recall which brand was being advertised. It is a great waste of the advertising budget, if when your advertisement comes to mind, the consumer thinks of your competitor brand. More generally, what is important is whether there is a good link between the memories of the brand and of the advertisement. This is something that can be tested by seeing whether the advertisement comes to mind when the consumer is prompted by the brand. Consumers’ feedback to catchy advertising campaigns prove that they can chance perceptions: “I didn’t know about that beer brand before. Then they had a clever advertising campaign. Right now, I drink that beer. It was just that the advertisement was good and clever enough … I was like: that is a clever ad, I try their product. It’s a drinkable beer and it’s reasonably cheap.” We have learnt through years of media research that we need to approach the consumer when they are most receptive. Not only scheduling at the right moment and the right place but also with advertising that ‘seems’ tailor-made for the individual consumer is what we conclude from the opinions we received. “I think we’re coming into a world in which we’re beginning to understand that yelling loudly is not the answer. There is an old British comedy act that was back in the fifties. There is this moment with a Russian exchange student in London. The Russian spoke no English. People said: “Talk louder. He doesn’t speak English.” I’m not sure that talking louder is a solution. I think that we finally come to a point in time where we recognize that people buy things because they want to buy them. You might be very interested in buying tennis sneakers, I’m not. So you can yell me all you want but it doesn’t do any good. Letting you know what we have to offer and inviting you to explore our offering is probably a much better way of dealing.” (Jerry Shereshewsky – Yahoo – US)

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Two-thirds of all respondents mention humour to be the most important value of good advertising. “I think it’s always a personal decision. If we’re not entertaining the consumers and we’re not educating them and we’re just bombarding them, then we’re going to lose them. But they have a choice now. You’ve got TiVo, I can turn my PDA off or I can turn my Blackberry off. I can do all these things I don’t have to listen to them anymore. Educate and entertain and you’ll be in very fine shape.” (Steve Burton / DDB – US) The place has to be part of the idea. Otherwise why is it there taking up space and annoying the people? The problem with ambient media truly is that it could be the death of advertising because people are going to be continuously annoyed. We have to make it so wonderful so the consumer is enjoying it. Then it has to be a surprise to them and they will congratulate you. (Tim Ponderelli / Leo Burnett – US) “If people are entertained, they are far more willing to forgive the media than if it is a very boring or plain message that they often hear time and again. They will become very bored and resentful because of the intrusion in their lives. I think in order for ambient media to succeed, it has to be entertaining.” (Myrna Davis / Art Directors Club – US) Scientific research why humour and funny ads are so important for consumers has shown that the creation and appreciation of humour is a remarkable complex neurological event, involving many parts of the brain and a host of chemical messengers. Laughter involves a complex array of muscles actions, and there is increasing evidence that it triggers the release of small amounts of endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller. THE EFFECT OF AMBIENT ADVERTISING The question frequently being asked by those advertisers who seek measurement tools, facts and prove of ambient media’s ROI, remains partly unanswered.




WORLDWIDE MULTI MEDIA MEASUREMENT 2006 part 5 / NEW APPROACHES AND FRESH PERSPECTIVES

What do ambient media result in? Raise awareness, increase sales, and/or improve the perception the consumer has of my brand? There are measurement tools and techniques to evaluate certain ambient formats. Incorporating PR in ambient media strategies being one, using direct response tools is another one. Gut feeling is an answer we received from marketing directors of big and small companies who have been using ambient media for years. What we presently don’t know is what really triggered a consumer’s move. “You’ve been to New York and through Times square. Name five billboards that you’ve seen. You probably can’t. You’ve seen probably 80 of them and they’re all lit up and they all cost several million dollars a piece to install and hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just for the electric bill. I have seen them countless times. Fuji. I’ve never bought a Fuji film but that is the billboard I can remember.” (Bob Garfield - US) Which measurement tool of ambient media formats will be acknowledged by the industry? Is it the X-Ray Spex technology of Dipstick’s eye monitoring glasses, devices, such as Nielsen’s N-Pod or even clever RFID design? If our clients accept out-of-home OTS and VAIs, what is the next research benchmark we are asked to set? fMRI exams for focus groups? Neurofeedback machines on our heads when we go shopping? Being remembered and being effective I think are different goals. To be remembered it has to be visually stimulating and I think when the right visual content is combined with the right audio content, then you can deliver a compelling message. Ambient media can also be remembered for being bad and for being intrusive and for being unpleasant. I think being effective is more than being remembered. There are studies done on recall rates and brand awareness, which I think are more important when they are linked to a campaign which is proving to be generally liked. It is important that the content is liked. (Kevin Massy - US)

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Our conclusion is that ambient media stimulates trial. While traditional media informs, one-to-one contact to the consumer and the opportunity to touch and smell and taste invites the consumer to experience the brand. FUTURE PERSPECTIVES OF AMBIENT MEDIA “If you do it for a little while it’s a piece of communication, you do I for a long time then it becomes an institution. If we can institutionalise brand relationships then you become an institution and the brand becomes part of people’s lives every day. For us the Coca-Cola sign at Kings Cross or Times Square or in Piccadilly Circus are institutions, we can’t give them up because they’re there forever. I mean people in Sydney say I’ll meet you at Kings Cross, but they don’t even say Kings Cross they say I’ll meet you at the Coke sign. You know and they know where to be. That’s not a sign that talks two-ways, that’s not a piece of ambient media that is a sampling exercise but it is a part of the institution of the city’s landscape.” (David Elsworth / Coca Cola – Hong Kong) Integration of ambient media in marketing plans will be a natural consequence of the development of the last 10 years. Many new ambient media formats will come and go. As long as key principles of creation, design and implementation are followed, ambient media will meet the clients’ expectations. “For us, TV is the basis of all communication efforts and we can really reach a big group of people and appeal to a really big group of people. But at the same time there is a closure on television. There are more and more television channels and there are more and more people advertising and there is only a certain level that you gain. So when we have a campaign, we always do multimedia. So we have TV as a base most of the time and then we use alternative media to appeal to a different group”. (Jacobine van der Meer – Heineken - Holland)




WORLDWIDE MULTI MEDIA MEASUREMENT 2006 part 5 / NEW APPROACHES AND FRESH PERSPECTIVES

CONCLUSIONS So, can ambient media fight the effect of mass media fragmentation? Our answer is yes.

The Authors Daniela Krautsack is Managing Director, Magic Moments, the creative unit of MediaCom, Austria. Thomas Aust is a Director of Photography, Austria.

Our recommendation is to create a simple message with a good link to the brand/product and a humorous/ witty touch, which aims to stand out of its competitive environment. Instead of evaluating ambient measures as a standalone media idea, major marketers recommend to measure the effect of the entire campaign. What it takes to have an ambient media hit? A good idea and guts. Better than surrounding the environment is getting people to interact with it. Brand entertainment that approaches most of the consumers’ senses and which creates a world which he gets invited and not thrown into, results in acceptance rather than annoyance. Excessively invading the environment causes an effect contrary to the one both client and agency have in mind. We recommend treating the nature and environment of people with respect. The future is closer than we think: Future talks of measuring ad growth through RFID tagged fruit stickers and scanner controlled mobile devices just seem one footstep away. Before we start looking at I.Q. points and pulse rates, we need to raise a serious question: Are our minds and spirits the ultimate media for sale? References Johnson, Steve. (2005). Mind wide open. Lindstrom, Martin. (2005). Brand sense. McLaren, Carrie. (2000). Ad creep. Print, Nov/Dec. Millward Brown. (2004). Alternative Advertising. du Plessis, Eric. (2005). The advertised mind.

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Can ambient media fight the effect of mass media fragmentation?