What’s Old Is New Again

Today advertisers are integrating their brands into content in order to capture the attention of digitally empowered audiences. Significantly, many brands are turning to “social media influencers” to endorse, demonstrate, and promote products from within their social media content. To keep it as authentic as possible, brands often let these “influencers” integrate the brands as…

AT&T’s Branded Entertainment, Present & Past

This summer AT&T’s reality show @summerbreak, filmed and edited as the summer progresses, returns for a second season to track the adventures of a group of Southern Californian teens. Back in the 1940s-50s, AT&T sponsored a very different radio and television program, The Bell Telephone Hour, featuring classical music and opera stars. Despite their obvious differences, the two…

Advertising as Education

Old ads look funny to us today in part because advertisers believed the purpose of ads was to educate consumers about the product. Direct hard sell didacticism resulted in repetitious ads, heavy with product attributes.  Today few ads include product information; most ads work by creating associations, such as with celebrities, making emotional appeals, or…

Advertainment

A recent advertising column by Stuart Elliott in the New York Times describes a new advertising strategy by the retailer Target. Characters from three different ABC situation comedies (Modern Family, The Middle, and Back in the Game) will appear in three different 30-second commercials giving each other gifts—from Target, of course. Having characters from different…