We live in a society where we are constantly bombarded by advertising that it has become prevalent and part of our daily lives. It appears everywhere, as we routinely navigate through our day and to the moment we end it as we retreat in our very own home. The presence of advertising is right with us.
From the moment we open our handheld device to check our social media channels or lethargically watch the morning local news as we wait for the coffee to be made, and to moment we frustratedly cut the metro bus that is plastered by the next superhero cinematic movie as we race to work without being late. Advertising has become a piece of our lifestyle.
Since the paradigm of media consumption shifted from analog to digital, and with the rise of social media channels, advertiser and marketer have managed to develop a more sophisticated way to insert the product they are promoting. And they call it content marketing or black ops advertising, where the content appears to be informative and yet highly entertaining. One great example of it, and I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with it, is the Red Bull Stratos Project. I remember I was fresh out of college, and that moment interning for a small advertising firm in Koreatown here in Los Angeles.
It was a milestone for Red Bull and advertising, as they garnered millions of viewers and cashed in with the increased sale of their product. Two years after, the same is reenacted by a Google executive more subtly. No promotions, no sponsorship, no PR stunts. Or so we thought. Who knows what they’re gearing for breaking the highest free-fall parachute jump?
Another PR stunt that I remember was Marc Ecko’s graffiti vandalism of Air Force One.
As a huge fanatic of the urban and street culture, why I landed a job for Frank151, this stunt was always memorable to me because, well, I spent money buying Marc Ecko products after this stunt. Merchandise such as clothing, video games, and art. It was the sense of rebellion that caught my attention, to belong to a counter-culture. Little did I know, by the end, that it was a publicity stunt done by advertising agency Droga5 who was responsible for this brazen, faux, act.
I go on the list of content marketing, but it would take forever since we live in a world where advertising is perfectly married to what we believe is original content. The difference today—and this is key—is that the race between advertisers and publishers centers on creating content that grabs our attention while hiding its corporate sales pitch.