Understanding How Ad Placement Impacts Effectiveness

Advertising Opportunities and Placement

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Advertising opportunities are everywhere. Advances in technology, coupled with man's never-ending pursuit of finding ways to make money, means that companies can place advertisements just about anywhere. In past issues of Communiqué, we have shared with you the unusual places that folks have dreamed up to place advertisements, from rocket ships to urinals.

So, with endless options for ad placements, why shouldn't marketers take advantage of them all? Perhaps the best way to answer this question is with a stark reminder, that even though they make skimpy Speedo bathing suits in every size, not everyone looks good wearing one.

The newest slew of ad venues includes new twists to existing mediums. One company is now offering advertising on the side of pint-size milk cartons, which are served to millions of school children each day. Some folks are even offering up their bodies as flesh and blood billboards. Air New Zealand paid 30 people to be "cranial billboards," which required that they shave their heads and have a temporary tattoo promoting the airline placed on their skulls.

Other ad placements are breaking new ground. Discount airline AirTran Airways is looking to build revenues by offering ad space on the backs of tray tables throughout their entire fleet. New technology-driven ad venues are proliferating as smart phone apps, which are being designed by specialty programmers to promote products. Stanley Tools designed an app that turns your phone into a level. Pizza Hut offers a create-a-pizza app.

Effectiveness of Ad Placement

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Just as too much pizza and skimpy Speedos don't mix well, not all available ad venues are suitable. The ad environment in which a message appears can greatly impact its overall effectiveness – either negatively or positively. Promoting travel to New Zealand, a locale that's off the beaten track, with a tattoo on a shaved head makes sense. Doing the same for a cancer treatment center would be considered shocking and inappropriate.

Careful consideration must be given not only to the demographics of who will be seeing the ad, but also how the medium used to deliver the message might change the context of how the message is received. Where a message appears and the surrounding environment, convey an unspoken "advertising by association" component that colors how the target audience receives the information.

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