The New New Media Will Seduce, Entertain And Inform
Seth Godin says in his book All Marketers Are Liars that marketing in the new age must tell a story. Nothing has ever been more true. Already, many television ads create a sense of storytelling in their structure even as they present a product as a solution to a problem. How much more will Internet advertising have to rely on people’s sense of curiosity and entertainment just to get them to view the message. The reason is simple:
Online, people watch what they want to watch instead of being interrupted and forced to watch what marketers want them to watch. To entice them to watch what you want to present, you’ll have to seduce them – literally. You’ll have to appeal to their senses, not their intellect. Crass? Maybe. But true.
The term ‘Snack-o-tainment’ was used by Nancy Miller in her ‘Wired’ magazine article ‘Manifesto for a New Age” in which she equates consumption of new media to societies addiction to fast food. If the audience is addicted to entertaining media, we as marketers must feed that addiction.
It wasn’t that long ago that the biggest objection to online video was it took too long to load; now we see it compared to fast food. The fact is video can deliver a meaningful message in the quickest possible way because it conveys content using the full arsenal of communication tools.
We can look to television for a blueprint of how to deliver these bite-sized morsels of corporately nutritious, entertaining, marketing manna.
The thirty-second commercial is an example of just how much memorable content can be crammed into a short period of time if a little entertaining creativity is added to the mix. And unlike television, there is no costly premium associated with time on the Internet, so content can be as long or short as the message requires.
A campaign based on this formula can come complete with plot-lines, character development, and signature music all designed to deliver your marketing message in an entertaining way that will not only get stuck in your audience’s memory, but will be anticipated by that same audience. The famous ‘Taster’s Choice’ soap opera style campaign of years ago was one of the best examples of combining entertainment with a commercial message.
Even the lowly jingle can be resurrected to provide some ’sit-up and take notice’ to an otherwise mundane presentation. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t know the recipe for MacDonald’s Big Mac, based on their fabulously successful commercials, even though they haven’t been aired in years. In fact MacDonald’s current roster of commercials are so forgettable that you wonder why they haven’t brought the old standby back to life.
Another bit of delicious marketing entertainment was the series of Chili’s Restaurant commercials featuring various singers interpreting their ‘Baby Back Ribs’ jingle, which provided far more entertainment in thirty seconds than a full CD of Britney Spears. More importantly that infectious ‘baby back ribs’ song has become deeply rooted in the public’s subconscious, and when the inevitable question comes up, ‘where are we going to eat?’ that jingle starts playing in our heads. If you want to be successful, learn from what works.
I prefer to call it “Smack-A-Tainment.” Marketers can no longer appeal to emotion. They must appeal to senses. Online, people want information, but they want to be entertained. We’re living in an age when people go to church to be entertained. They choose their activity from one moment to the next based on what will provide them the most pleasure. You want to be the one to tickle their senses. If you don’t, someone else will.
On Feb. 25, we ran a post on three ways the Web will improve. Essentially, further nichefication, multisensory and social. The new social media will be interactive online video. That’s where you get to tell your story. Instead of hitting your audience in the face with messages they don’t want, you’ll have to seduce them to want what you have to present. When they “click the link,” they will get the story of their lives, complete, multisensory, entertaining, inviting and with a message that they can’t resist for a product they didn’t know they wanted. Bam! They’re yours.
Why “Smack-A-Tainment?” Because it’s all just smack talk. You’re telling them why they should do business with you. It’s like in high school, the guy who got the girl was the one who could talk the best smack the fastest. You’ve got to be smack talker. Give them a reason to laugh, cry, be jealous, love, hate, or just plain feel good and they’ll run right into your arms. Seduce them and you’ll get the customer just like the cowboy gets the girl. You can’t argue with what works.