Monday, October 29, 2007

Comcastic Is Not So Fantastic

These days I feel I can - to be overly general - classify marketing into two types: the forced and finessed. Consider television commercials. When you're watching your favorite show on a DVR, when was the last time you actually watched all or any of the commercials? Now think about the last 10 YouTube links you got... I'd bet at least one or two of them were a funny or interesting commercial. So why do you avoid television ads during your shows like the plague but embrace them when they're on YouTube? The answer, my friends, is finesse.

For the amount of money being spent on clever marketing campaigns these
days, I don't see how you could afford to utilize the forced approach at all. I would go as far as to say I specifically DO NOT buy a product if the marketing ploy annoyed me. Maybe I'm a little extreme.

Case in point: Comcast's channel guide. Notice the amazingly large advertisement section at the bottom that is completely obstructing the view of more channels and even more annoying, as you scroll down, it actually gets selected. So not only is it minimizing the useful information I can get on one screen, it is wasting my time by making me use an additional click to scroll down.

For shame, Comcast. Not only do I completely ignore this advertisement, it has actually caused me to resent Comcast for implementing it and I have since canceled my subscription.

Now this ad on a restroom mirror has a little "wow" factor for its uniqueness. It also actively targets the right demographic. That, my friends, is a finesse play.

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gibbs12 said...

It's a bit extreme to cancel a subscription over an ad placement in the programming guide. I think you play enough Xbox360 to have conditioned thumbs to hit the "page up" button a few more times than you need to. Plus, Comcast's programming guide is far ahead of a lot of other provider's, so I can deal with the ads just for that.

Anywho, I kind of agree with how you classify the ads. What you don't mention is that there could easily be a "finesse" ad in a "forced" placement. For a commercial to become a viral hit, it needs to get scale by reaching eyeballs via TV. For example, Hallmark for Father's Day created a great MC Hammer spot. People loved it and immediately went to YouTube to find it after seeing it on TV. Because of that, it got over 100k views in just a few weeks. If it hadn't been on TV, the views wouldn't have been near as high. ( )

akomack said...

I completely agree about the annoyance of the Comcast ad "bugs." Anything that takes away from the pleasure of the intended task is a no-win medium in the long run.

More importantly, I like the picture of the ad for the necklace in the women's bathroom.

I'd love to see a blog post from you with tons of pictures of clever ad placements like that (so we, your loyal audience, can see lots of fun examples all in one place).