Advertising as entertainment

The advertiser’s role is to determine the communication objectives. These have to be in line with the overall organizational goals and strategy.

The advertiser’s goals and strategy are influenced by the government policy. It may even sponsor news or films made by the corporate sector on television. Hence government rules and regulations and electronic media (T.V., Video, Cable T.V. Radio etc.) policies play a dominant role in advertiser’s decision-making.

The advertiser is facilitated by advertising agencies and media in translating its goals into action. Marketing research in turn assists all these institution, i.e. the advertiser agencies and the media. Within the advertiser’s organization, it’s the product managers, or the brand managers (as in soft drinks and personal products) whose task is to coordinate between the advertising agencies and the organization. In fact, in many of the multinational and large Indian firms, a product manager or brand manager is a strategist and it’s his or her responsibility to develop communication goals for the product or brand and evolve a marketing plan and strategy for it. The advertising campaign, which is a part of this overall marketing strategy, is often decided by the product managers.

While all large advertisers depend on advertising agencies to develop the campaign, smaller advertisers, has to depend on its own internal resources or take the services of freelance advertising personnel.

For generations, advertising interrupted the entertainment that one wanted to read, hear or watch. Now, in a turnabout, advertising is in increasingly being presented as entertainment and surprisingly the idea of all ads all the time is gaining some favor.

One reason is proliferation of broadband internet connections, which make it easier for computer users to watch or downloads clips. That is enabling media companies, agencies and advertisers to create sites devoted to commercials and other forms of advertising for amusements, rather than hard core huckstering.

Oddly, the trend runs counter to another powerful impulse among consumers: the growing desire to avoid advertising. TV viewers, for instance are spending billions of dollars a year for TiVo and other digital video recorders that help them zip through or zap commercials, and click through rates for banner web ads are declining.

The difference between ‘watching a commercial’ on a website and in ones living room is that online is “an opt-in audience” and he/she is choosing to be there. It’s the nature of the web to offer a destination one can go to and know what he is going to see.

There’s certainly an audience for entertainment as part of the offering. The numbers seem to support it. For example,, a broadband website operated by the TBS cable network has delivered over 63 million video since its introduction a few months ago.

It’s a very straightforward premise: The viewer is going to have a funny experience, and going to have it every 30 seconds. The funny-ad website is part of a re-branding campaign for the TBS network, which carries the theme “Very funny”. The goal is to cultivate an identity for TBS as a home for sitcoms and humorous movies.

A lot of people talk about zipping through commercials because the average break doesn’t hold the promise of being entertaining.

Putting choice on the table, changes the whole game. Everything is about control. If an ad is interesting the viewer will have the conversation with the brand. If it’s not, it’s a waste of time.

The concept as MTV meets QVC, offering consumers in the intended audience of ages 18-30 product information in the form of entertaining video clips rather than traditional commercials. The clips are to run 2-3 minutes apiece and be presented by hosts considered authorities like cars, clothing or computers.

The only reason of any chance of being successful is transparency. If people know they’re being sold to, you can celebrate the sell. The USA Network unit of NBC Universal, part of General Electric also intends to climb aboard the pitch wagon celebrating advertising as entertainment with an online effort centered on brand centric content. Plans calls for a website next year that will include commercials and movie trailers as well as features like social networking and tools to let visitors make ads of their own. Consumers want to be entertained on their own time, on their own terms.