It's the brother of permission marketing: marketing to the bored. It's the last 20 minutes on a plane before landing when you have read the newspaper you brought along, when the entertainment system is turned off and when you are no longer permitted to listen to your iPod. Out comes the "Sky Mall" catalog, a collection of things you didn't know existed, things you lived well without for many years, things that miraculously look very interesting at this moment.
It's the cereal box on the breakfast table, the banner ads inside of a subway car. New ideas have evolved recently, such as ads on headrest covers in planes. I saw this first in China although this is not my picture. Thanks to whoever took it. While airlines in the USA got rid of them to save cost the Chinese turned them into profit centers. The world is truly upside down right now. While I began to wonder what would be next I saw ads on the bottom of my tray at airport security. While this idea seems to be totally on target I think it is not. The first thing people do is slam their belongings into the tray so visibility is minimal. Furthermore, shoes are dirty and many items will scrape the surface so my guess would be that these ads look crappy in no time. What is most: it is a "stress" situation, not a "bored" one. People are not relaxed so the messages are likely to remain unnoticed.
Once you start googling the topic you will come across advertising messages on your tray table, both inside and out. Marketers seem to have discovered airline passengers as an "ultra bored" audience. Here are some ideas: how about free food? Something delicious when no one expects it? "This service was sponsored by..."? In Europe I'd suggest free cocktails for everyone but that won't "fly" here.
Where else? How about doctor's waiting rooms? I don't usually wait long but I never find any cool magazines on the table, just "People Magazine", some Golf mags, interior design and whatever else it is doctors read. Get it? They put out magazines that THEY like. Rather than thinking about their audience, allowing some sponsors in and make some extra money (not that they needed it).
Subways and trains are quite exploited already, and so are banners in front of the Lincoln Tunnel here in New York where reportedly companies pay north of a million bucks per month for their ads.
So my question is: when and where do you have to kill time every day? What are you staring at unintentionally? Ah - some might say: "my teacher" but let's discount this thought for now. Mind you, students, Pepsi, Frito Lay and Co. have been after your allowance for years. So what else comes to mind?
Send me your comments if you have any ideas.
Thanks, and have a great Sunday,