Week 9 Reflection: The Future of Digital Advertising

I have admittedly been waiting for Week 9 of this course since I read the syllabus. Advertising is not only the specialization that I chose for the Communications@Syracuse program, but it’s also what I do on a daily basis, and what I hope to continue to do for the foreseeable future. I love having the ability to analyze data to help make decisions, and use those decisions to help drive overall marketing strategy. But advertising in the digital age isn’t easy. Everybody is trying to think of the next big thing and there’s constant competition in trying to reinvent the wheel. When I think about the future of advertising, two different ideas stick out in my mind, and that is the concept of real-time advertising, as well as interactive advertising.

We talked during our class session about the now-famous Oreo Twitter ad from Super Bowl XLVII. While the direct correlation between Oreo and football is relatively nonexistent, the brand capitalized on a major opportunity in real-time marketing. During one of the most watched events of the year in the United States, Oreo was able to produce a digital ad in just minutes. Not surprisingly, in went viral in even less time. It’s a great ad because it’s relatable, but it’s an even greater ad because of the flawless, quick execution behind it. Since then, all major events are now closely monitored by brands and agencies in an effort to capitalize on a real-time opportunity to market – a trend that I expect will only continue.

When we think about interactive ads, we probably immediately think about clickable banner ads. Some of them are very simple: they have a CTA (Call To Action) and have you click the ad to link out to a landing page. It may not seem to be interactive by definition, but in order for it to be effective, a user needs to click (or interact) with the ad itself. Hence, maybe it is interactive after all. The really interesting trend that I have seen with advertising, and this is across all platforms – TV, radio, digital, etc. – is the idea of using hashtags. Brands are wisely promoting their ad campaigns with hashtags in an effort to not only allow consumers to interact with each other and with the brand itself, but also to show ROI in a secondary way other than dollars and cents (which usually comes from interacting with the ad and potentially purchasing that product or service). Hashtags are easy, relatable, and can be extremely effective if utilized in the right way.

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