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Taking iiNet to the Streets

As technology continues to impact the way we consume almost everything (including media), we as marketers need to find new and engaging ways to get the message across. The days of relying solely on free-to-air television are gone. Television isn’t dead, but the way we engage with it has changed.

New concepts like ‘catch-up TV’, content on your mobile and ‘create your own content’ has shifted the way advertisers buy media.
One of the interesting things we have had success with over the last few years is using outdoor advertising to help supplement stuff like TV advertising.

Outdoor advertising (sometimes called out of home or ambient) isn’t new and includes almost anything you can think of. From those smart cars that scoot around town towing billboards, planes pulling banner messages up and down the beach over summer, sampling teams at concerts  and ad mirror stickers that get posted in bar toilets, it’s everywhere.

Spending a bit of time at the W.A.C.A recently for the Ashes Test, I was amazed that there was time for any cricket to be played at all with the amount of effort and money many companies had spent  getting people to trial their wears. I could go from having my picture taken with a fast food company to holding a blow up toy with another within a matter of minutes

Ambient allows the marketer to take the message to the consumer by asking where do they spend their time? It allows us to put our messages in an appropriate space and also helps to engage those who often are hard to capture via traditional stuff like TV or newspapers.

We have used ambient quite a bit over the last few years including giving people free rides down city streets  in pedapods, taking over Town Hall in Sydney and Flinders St Station in Melbourne and have  even had a choir singing on street corners and bus shelters that talked to you.

I think it’s a fair to say that outdoor often works best when it is part of a wider marketing strategy (see the TV, then get a similar message when you leave the house) but I have seen some really great stand alone campaigns also.  For me it comes down to being relevant and unique.

Some of our best outdoor has been stuff that has helped deliver new news, but done in a way that reflects who we are  – different, challenging and just a bit tongue in cheek. People still tell me how much they loved the ‘Hello target audience, buy this” bus side.

4 comments

  1. Nice post Matt.

    This blog post is itself a good example of how content can earn you audience and hence earn you customers. I’ve noticed how iiNet have stepped up their content production lately (blogs, tweets, fb, user generate content) and I think this is a smart strategy.

    Give people something useful (valuable content, innovative products, great service & engaging advertising) and they’ll give you brand loyalty.

  2. Hi matt, I reckon word of mouth has to be the foremost advertising media in the long term. I still remember the customer service excellence in my days with iinet in the early 90s, and i still tell people about it every now and then.
    I think your ‘relevant and unique’ emphasis is spot on. Besides that if you can be a little personal in your mass advertising, like your ironic bus-side, then all the better. I think the next big wave is content over form – in an increasingly uncertain world the genuine experience is more and more important. Being careful to avoid gimmicks and promotions that will undermine your brand’s reputation for quality. I’ve found in my little world that if you consistently give even just a tiny little bit more than you advertise, and even if that extra is kinda obscure, it goes a very long way. Do you think there’s still room for sublety at your scale of operations?

  3. China says:

    Here is a relavant article from todays SMH:

    http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/managing/blogs/the-venture/tuning-out–in-the-inattention-economy/20110110-19l0l.html?comments=32#comments

    iiNet is the only telco to get positive mentions (3) in the comments. Now that’s word of mouth.

  4. China says:

    I’ve always remembered how some school teachers would regain the attention of all students in the room by stopping in mid sentence. Quickly all would automatically turn towards the front. What a pleasant change a quiet add with a simple and clear visual message along the lines of bluster free service would be.

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