Tuesday June 19, 2012 AT 1:00 PM on CBC-TV
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The average consumer is exposed to 6,000 marketing messages on any given day. - Joe Jaffe, New Marketing Guru
TV advertising used to be such an easy business. They played the ads, we watched the ads. But along came hundreds of new channels, and Tivo, and the internet, and scattered audiences, and as the visionary ad man Peter Sealey tells us..." in the mid-1960s I could reach 80% of the women in the United States of America with three daytime black and white commercials... Today, it would take 97 prime time 30-second ads to get that same reach."
The Selling Game is all about how marketers not only survived the so called Panic on Madison Avenue, but rang in a new gilded age of advertising. Digital media, the internet and cable tv, have handed marketers incredibly powerful new keys to our hearts and minds, and wallets. We'll meet the brains behind companies like Tacoda, whose technology looks at our web surfing ways and tells marketers who we are, what we buy, and where we buy it. With that targeting information to hand, making effective ads is the easy part. In fact, it's so easy that thousands of us are doing it all the time now.
The hot new thing in ad land is called Consumer Generated Media: that's homemade ads to you and me, a multimillion dollar business nowadays. We hook up with the creator of one extreme example of that. Kristin Dehnert made a Doritos ad on a shoestring budget...and her spot ended up playing in a $2 million dollar slot on The Superbowl.
The Selling Game is all about the latest tricks in ad land. We get inside the trojan horses that dominate the advertising business nowadays. Like viral spots, those funny little video clips we all send to one another. Meet the likeable guys at Eepybird.com who plopped mentos into diet coke bottles, and made videos of the fizzy results that turned into - brace yourself - $100 million worth of free media for the sugary little bonbons.
We'll also get a bead on the alarmingly precise new business of targeting our behaviour, based on the web sites we visit, the digital channels we watch, the stores at which we use our debit card. Privacy advocates like Jeff Chester are more nervous than ever about this digital wild west. We'll talk to Google and Yahoo about how your search words (and Facebook groups and MySpace favourites and YouTube channels) are telling advertisers more than you think. We'll also show you how, when you go surfing through ceramic tiles at a design website...TV ads for new floors might start coming to your digital set top box.
It's not just web surfing either, thanks to new FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) techniques, advertising researchers can now literally get into our brains. They can see exactly what changes in our grey matter when we're exposed to ads, and yes, believe it or not, they can see different states in our brain when we sip Coke and when we sip Pepsi.
"If you can get it on the digital world, you can go from zero to 3 million downloads, and the topic of conversation in pop culture media, consumed by it for 3 weeks, for a $3,000 investment. That's pretty good marketing." says Tony Chapman, creator of the Bridezilla Wigout.
The TV ad may be on the wane, but marketing is stronger than ever. Ads just don't feel like ads anymore. 'Under the Radar' is the buzz term du jour. The video of a 'wigged out' bride to be who lopped off her hair got millions of views. We'll meet the ad man who cooked that whole thing up.Seemingly innocent video stunts that friends forward to your in box might just be Burger King's next branding brainstorm. You never know, and that's the whole point.
It's a bizarre new world of persuasion. The Selling Game takes a High Definition tour from New York to Silicon Valley, to a tiny cheese factory in England, to get to the bottom of it all... Give us an hour of attention, and we'll see that you never look at ads the same way again. Satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back. Honest.