Are New Ads Relevant or Just Gimmicky? When was the last time you looked forward to advertising? Soon, believe it or not, you may find yourself thumbing through publications actually looking for a new ad. Why? Because advertisers are working on new ways to make their ads relevant. I, for one, can't wait to see if this tactic works. After all, as soon as I get a new magazine, I immediately begin ripping out the inserts and tossing them in the trash, usually without giving them so much as a glance. I'm exactly the kind of consumer advertisers are targeting. Whether we call the ads relevant or just gimmicky, chances are pretty good it will be hard to ignore them. Advertisers recognize that in this digital age, colored ink, heavy stock and catchy taglines just aren't enough to hold our attention. Future magazine inserts will include things like photos of cars with flashing headlights. We'll have a hard time ignoring a piece of paper that plays music, lights up or talks. Digital technology is also going to change the way we consume TV advertising as well. Already, advertisers are storyboarding commercials in segments that allow them to "mix and match," so that, with a little editing, they can create new commercials on the fly that will seem more relevant to the viewers of particular shows. We won't see the same Crest commercial during "Law and Order" that we see during cartoons. And yet, the manufacturer won't have to go to the expense of filming several different commercials. I can't help being a tad curious about this new trend. I regularly read such a variety of magazines -- from People to Car and Driver -- I hope to get to experience a wide variety of this so-called "relevant advertising." This new ad trend has implications for our businesses. Consumers will quickly begin to expect every business-to-consumer interaction to be relevant. So what are you going to do about it? Are you already thinking about how you can find new ways to make all of your messages relevant to specific buyers of your product or service?


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