Ads that work harder
NETWORK How do you reach the right consumers? Make your advertising interactive. By George Cole
Monday 17 June 1996
The technology to do all this is not quite there yet, but the potential offered by interactive technology has excited many in the advertising, marketing and communications industries.
"Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted," soap magnate Lord Leverhulme said. "The trouble is that I don't know which half."
The beauty of interactive systems is that they give companies feedback on the number of people taking an interest in their advert, how long they look at it and even which parts of the ad were most liked. A number of systems are being used for interactive communications, including CD-Rom, CD-i, point-of-information (POI) kiosks, interactive TV and the Internet.
Interactive Learning Productions (ILP) set up a multimedia division a year ago. Its director, Steve Grainger, says: "People are now looking at multimedia as a serious part of their marketing strategy." ILP developed a marketing CD-Rom for the Brewery, a London-based conferencing and banqueting centre. The disc includes images of all the food and drink on offer, a virtual tour, and an event planner to help companies organise meetings.
The Design Clinic has produced a pre-sales interactive system for the BSkyB satellite TV service, using a CD-i player connected to a TV. The system, which is in more than 550 stores around the UK, includes video clips from the various channels and a guide to different packages.
A growing number of companies are using the Internet to market their name or brands. The drinks company Carling has a Web site aimed at 18- to 25-year-olds (the largest group of lager drinkers). The site includes Premier League football match updates and team and merchandising information.
Thomas Cook's site has a worldwide database of more than 100 countries, and users can find hotel and resort information. There are also timetables and facilities for booking. When a new secure payment system, developed by Visa and Master Card, comes into operation, people will also be able to pay over the Net.
The number of potential users of a Web site is enormous: last year, more than 300,000 people sent electronic Christmas cards to friends and relatives around the world, from the Thomas Cook site. "The message we got back from focus groups was that people want to be excited by a Web site," says Colin Macklin, director of consumer futures at Thomas Cook.
Although most Internet users are men aged 16-25, more younger users are hooking up, especially as many schools are now linked to the Net. "The Net isn't about age, it's about attitude and your capability to handle the technology. As the profile of Net users expands, it makes the medium more attractive to companies wishing to market their brands," says Felix Velarde, director of Hyperinteractive.
But many people are using the Internet badly when it comes to communication, says Belinda Mitchell-Innes, strategic director at Carat Interactive: "Some companies have been seduced by the technology and thought that the medium is the message," she says, "so you have some companies putting their TV adverts on the Net. The Net is very slow, so you have to ask, `what sane, sensible person is going to wait 45 minutes to download an advert they've seen on the TV?'"
Steve Taylor, who runs The Design Clinic's Interactive Clinic, agrees: "Someone once described the Internet being like a poster site down a narrow country lane. Companies have to ask questions such as who is going to visit the site? Is it an appropriate way to promote the company? Is it cost effective?" The buzz-word is VFV, Value-For-Visit. If a Web site is well produced, people will return to it.
Some companies are looking at interactive TV systems, which allow users to call up adverts and ask for further information. The general feeling in the marketing industry seems to be that iTV is an interesting proposition, but its take-up is likely to be slow.
ILP: 01932 252211; The Design Clinic 0171 700 3712; Thomas Cook: 01733 502792; Carat Interactive: 0171 497 5241.
Life & Style blogs
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers
Airline food across the classes: Ever wondered what the other half are eating?
Coachella Festival 2015: from Kendall Jenner to Alexa Chung, stars and festival-goers parade their boho best
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Huawei P8 review: best phones nobody's seen from the biggest company nobody's heard
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...