I was reading the interview by Piers Fawkes (IF/PFSK) of Niku Banaie (Naked).
Piers wondered whether the video equipped cell phone might create a new venue for the TV spot.
It’s an important question. Many of the substitutes for TV advertising are lightening quick or too unstructured (e.g., billboards, product placements in a film, internet banner ads, in situ sampling, event sponsorships).
As the consumer’s time and attention becomes more fragmented, it becomes harder for the marketer to build brands, manage meanings and create relationships.
That’s when it struck me: now is the time for the big brands to invest in public transit.
The big brands helped create television: Kraft Television Theatre (1947-1958), Texaco Star Theater (1948-1956), General Electric Theater (1953-61), and of course the “soap opera” created by P&G. They created these theatres as a way to commandeer the attention of the US consumer.
Public transit can deliver as much as a couple of hours of attention time per consumer. The cars can be wired for video, or consumers will bring their own 3G devices. (The Tokyo subway rider has been disappearing into a 3G phone for some years now.)
Naturally, the commuter trains would have to be roomier and more pleasant than the present ones. But then again, if “Metro lines” were being run from deep pockets and Madison Avenue, I’m guessing this would be inevitable.
This was our mistake: treating public transit as an opportunity for smaller traffic jams, faster rush hours, reduced pollution, Kyoto compliance. What the hell were we thinking?