Advertising and commercials have come a long way since the first ad was published all the way back in 1704. Since then, marketing and advertising have seen some major milestones. Constantly adapting to new mediums and an increasingly tech-savvy audience, the world of advertising has gone through many changes in the past years.
One thing that had a big impact on advertising than anything else is the introduction of the World Wide Web. The internet has singlehandedly revolutionized the way audiences viewed and perceived ads. Advertisement changed from fuzzy old infomercials to clear-cut, well-executed commercials.
Traditional Advertising – Then
The first TV ad aired on screens across America in 1941. Brands built characters around their products in order to create a connection between the brand and the viewers. Famous faces were brought on board to sell products ranging from cigarettes to washing machines. Think back to the famous Marlboro Man ad campaigns or Frosted Flakes ads featuring Tony the Tiger.
In traditional advertising, the purpose of the ads was one dimensional: to sell the product. Yes, there were characters and storylines that were central to the ads, but the brand product remained at the forefront of the ads.
Ads Now: A Different Motive
Advertisements today do more than just sell a product or a service. The recent shift in the advertising world has seen the commercials move away from the sell-only mentality. The ads of today are more geared toward building brand awareness as well as community building.
The Product/Service Is Not the Sole Centerpiece
Today’s ads don’t just focus on what their product is; they focus on the problems of their consumers. Their products just happen to be the solution to the viewers’ problems. In the online world, brands have to work doubly hard to gain the trust of the increasingly-wary audience, and a soft-sell approach is just the way to do that.
Consumers Have Become More Active Than Passive
One recent introduction to the world of advertisements: the ad-blocker option. Audiences no longer have to sit through commercials they don’t want to watch or be bombarded with irrelevant ads as the browse online. They can now actively choose to block those ads. This is not to be taken lightly; the ad-blocking trend has cost marketers $22 billion in revenue.
Consumers Trust Commercials Less
The leading demographic of today’s age is the millennial generation and they happen to be increasingly skeptical of commercials and ads. They’re particularly picky about what they want to watch and listen to. Brands need to start building a loyal consumer base through authentic ideas so that consumers would want to buy the product. Now it’s about delivering solutions and building connections rather than using the “Sell, sell, sell!” approach.
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