Rethinking What’s an “Ad” In New Media

Today I was cruising nerdgraph, and found a cool infographic. Infographics depict neat trivia & facts on 1 theme in a poster-style pinnable format. Or printable, if you still do that. Often with humour, always with cool stats, facts & some surprises. Nerdgraph.com is a ‘community center’ where nerds hang out; a table of trivia knobs who inexplicably have many Friday nights free. This is a cool piece  with quirky stats on Roku marking its 5 Millionth user. It claims to present news, but is really an ad- done in a format that’s newsy, full of data for trivia nuts, in a cool visual format. The surprise? That Lexington KY is the center of the universe for Roku fandom. Who’duthunk!

Remember that one ‘impression’ you bought but may not have got with a banner ad in an online ad campaign years ago? Perhaps a momentary ‘impression’ at best, and a low quality one at that? My Roku infographic exposure, given the time I spent viewing all that brand-centered info, is a Very High Quality ’impression’.

Infographics appeal to SuperFans of trivia & aren’t costly to create. The ‘media’ is often free. The ‘advertiser’ invests in art & stat collecting, then relies on Fans to spread the message. Share it. Pin it. Tweet it. Blog it.

If you worked for the city of Kansas City and were asked to boost local tourism & investing, you’d be fighting the city’s somewhat iffy old reputation. Reality changed, but the image hasn’t. If only there was a way to convey new facts on how it’s a fine place to live, work & invest. Wait- there is! K.C. city staffers wanted to update the city’s image. So they created a pin-friendly infographic with myth-dispelling facts on K.C.

Who might spread that word? Trivia & geography fans like me. Companies & colleges there. Perhaps ‘city alumni’- those raised in K.C, or who once worked there, have relatives there, or follow their legendary sports teams or music industry icons.

‘Media’ is changing. Media formats are exploding with choice. So Many Social Media (SoMe) platforms available. So many different ‘vehicles’ texts & tweets, pic sharing, graphs, blogs, viral videos, memes, etc.

Depending on the message/ target, some choices are poor-fit. They’ll yield  a low quality ‘impression’. Others, though, may be highly engaging, letting fans find new fans for you. New recruits & advocates!

Give some of the new mediums a chance; I’m not saying avoid my blog (please keep coming back!);  but eg I’m on twitter too. As a ‘consumer of media’, I’m spending more time on some newly invented media options. If marketing a brand, I’d want to be aware of all those options, so I didn’t miss a high-fit marketing opportunity.

Like using creatively presented facts, to upgrade the image of a city.

Who else uses infographics? One might assume, as infographics are so nerd-friendly, news of a sequel to the nerd-worship film ‘Despicable Me’ would nicely fit the site. D.M.2 is floating  ‘ads’ overhead to tease fans. And, to show how multi-media platforms work on SoMe, here’s a trailer  I saw upon learning D.M.2 was coming out- a trailer Universal Pictures posted on Youtube. Yep, more free media. Even companies with BIG budgets are happy to use free media to court fans. Why shouldn’t you?

Steven Litt