The World is Your Media

Media Planners everywhere unite and shout this new mantra, "The World is Your Media!" Because this is the common theme I've been hearing for the past year or so. If you can slap a logo on it, it's officially an advertising medium.

Now this idea of utilizing any free space became apparent to me prior to my career in media. While I was in college working on the National Student Ad Competition, GoldenPalace.com paid a woman to tattoo an ad on her forehead. I remember clipping the article from a newspaper (They existed back then. Oh wait, they are still around?) and posting it in our meeting space.

Well, nothing has changed. Buildings, plants, sidewalks and even the air itself has become a blank canvas on which to paint our client's advertising messages.

While this is a very easy thing for people to say, it's not as easy in execution. Planning and buying traditional media has a method, language and other established norms that give media planners and buyers true expertise. If you don't normally plan or buy television, you likely wouldn't know what GRPs, break-averages or backloading means. And that's why they pay us the big bucks (hahahaha).

But when you venture out into truly non-traditional media like sidewalks, there is no established norm. Who do you call? Do you get permits? Is it against the law? If so, what is the penalty? Etc. What ends up happening, is that us planners call up another buying company to handle it. Or we are forced to spend hours calling around and trying to figure out how to execute the ad. Which sucks. It's a waste of time.

So just remember, the next time you give a presentation about how crappy traditional media is and how exciting the world of nontraditional media can be, keep in mind that you have some poor media planner that now has to learn a new set of rules to use in a totally new playground. And it's not that easy.