Becoming Professional: A Blog

It’s All About the Experience

Posted on: November 28, 2010

I’m looking at a lot of advertisements and reading a lot of advertising case studies lately. And the best ones? The ones that create an experience for the viewer, and not just the online variety. It’s relatively easy to be engaging with online advertisements. You can let people fill out the entry forms right in the banner ad, or have it expand into a race car game they can play without ever leaving the original website. Even just enticing a person to click on an ad is enticing them to engage. That click is an engagement after all.

No, it’s also possible to get an experience out of outdoor advertising.

Yeah, you read that right. I’m talking about billboards and posters and bus stations. Let’s take this one.

Absolute Vodka advertisement that took over a bus stop

click on image to visit original site

Unlike just a virtual experience, such as zooming a digital car around a race track, here you actually sit in the branded bus stop. All it takes is figuring out how your target audience spends their days and creating the experience where they will encounter it. Plus, by creating a branded experience like this one, you tap into the social graph. People love to share the events and things that happen around them, and, honestly, if you and a friend were waiting at this bus stop, could you resist taking a picture of yourself in one of those cool chairs and posting it to Facebook?

A teenager dead on the road with another teen laying on top of him.

click on image to visit original site

And you don’t necessarily have to take over the local public transportation to pull it off, either. Try this one. It’s just a poster you would see in the London Tube or on the side of a phone cabin. In this campaign, the planners at M & C Saatchi realized that teenagers are more worried about a friend dieing in a traffic accident than dieing themselves, thus the tag line. But what makes this outdoor poster an experience is the artwork. It draws you into the action in the photo. And since the view into the picture is horizontal made vertical, it makes you feel like you are horizontal. You were also in the crash. Pair that with the tag line, and the target audience suddenly has a dose of the experience that the advertiser, Transport for London, wants them to want to avoid by driving safely.

By making the ad an experience, you also make the ad work, no matter the medium. Whether it be with stunning creative, insight into how your audience spends their day, or a fun game online. The experience is what matters.


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Who Am I?

I am a Digital Native who is trying to puzzle out what exactly that means. I share my thoughts on social media, digital business models, and PR here on this blog.

I am currently getting my Masters in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School, having gotten my B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University. Everything is on track and I am making headway towards my dream: World Domination... or being a productive, helpful citizen and marketer. Whichever comes first.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. I Tweet daily at @KateDavids and also have a science fiction and fantasy blog ( and Twitter (@Masked_Geek).

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