Friday, November 20, 2009

Marketing in your face!

I still vividly remember a chap who used to sell rat poisons. Not for any other reason, but the fact that his advertizing techniques looked absolutely awe striking back then. This chap used to walk around with a huge banner stuck to a stick, that had a small wheel on it. So this guy would wheel it around, and the banner had a clipart description of what the poison would do. I don't know whether anyone bought anything from him, but as far as advertizing goes - hats off to him indeed.

The other day, I saw another piece of advertizing that caught my attention. I forget the firm, but there was an ad for a financial service, along with a number you're supposed to call. And this data was printed on a sheet of paper that actually was the centerpiece of... hold your breath.... the headrest on an airplane seat!!! So imagine, this firm had actually captured one and a half hours of undivided eyeball attention. So much for in-flight entertainment. As though that were not enough, later, I saw another piece of advertizing by Vodafone, if I remember correctly, touting their pay-per-second plan on the back of a bus seat! They sure as hell have Mumbai traffic to thank for making me completely aware of the nitty-gritty details of their proposed plan. In your face adveritizing? Absolutely!!

This is the age of hoardings on top of skyscrapers, mobile advertizing vans parked at strategic locations, ads on lamp-posts, bridges, buses, whole local trains, and so on. I wonder what can be next. Perhaps we can extrapolate rat-poison-man to the next level and redefine a field sales person. Looking at the degree of in-your-face advertizing, the next time someone says that she or he is a field salesperson, do ensure you ask for the person's exact job description. Given our current status of advertizing, I wouldn't be surprised if the person walked the streets with a banner dangling from his/her neck, detailing the features of the newest electronic gadget to hit the street! And if a prospective consumer were to walk up to the salesperson and show sufficient interest, the consumer could even get to see a demo of the product! Sounds interesting? Well, let's wait a couple of years, this type of advertizing might just become the norm of the season...

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