Nightclubs – The ideal media platform for targeted Digital Advertising
Targeted Digital Advertising; the “Why”
Targeted advertising is “in”; mass media advertising is out. We can already see how in-effective mass media advertising is, with the decline in revenues faced by traditional media delivery platforms such as television and print. Even Digital mass media advertising is slowly suffering, with the introduction of built in email spam filters and laws against cold calling and unsolicited SMS coming into force in many countries. It was always a hit and miss affair anyway. The idea that you spam everyone, and hopefully attract or trap many.
With control of media consumption now in the hands of the consumer, there is a focus on media delivery that places importance on quality over quantity. Just as the shift from traditional to Digital Media by consumers allows them granular control over what they consume, the same advantage can be used to the benefit of the advertiser, tailoring and targeting the brand message to a desired demographic, thereby achieving a higher and measurable success rate, than blindly “broadcasting” a message that never reaches the audience because of automated filtering and end user control. Targeted Digital Advertising can be applied to segments of society, such as the financially more stable Senior Citizen, but focus has always been on the cool and younger Gen Y or Millennials, as an audience .
Targeted Digital Advertising in Nightclubs; the “How”
The aim of every advertiser is to get a consumers attention. It used be a matter of “eyeballs”. That form of metric was not always straightforward to gauge success, because there was no guaranteed way to measure how many eyeballs saw an Ad. For example, for a Digital Signage flat screen or Billboard in a shopping mall, while the footfall may be 1000 per hour, there is no guarantee that 1000 pairs of eyeballs saw and registered the ad on the billboard. Some times there are eye tracking devices, but a casual glance does not mean that the Ad was registered. Interaction is always a sure fire way of guaranteeing that the brand message has been absorbed, but until such a time that people Interact with a Billboard, the search for ideal Media delivery platforms continue.
Nightclubs are an ideal targeted platform to address the affluent, and young adult demographic. This has of course been realized and not wasted by brands that deal exclusively with this demographic. But in most cases and barring a few sponsored events, the brands using this media platform have only been the ones that cannot advertise freely over mass media, i.e. tobacco and alcohol brands.
Nightclubs are a place where people are at their relaxed best. They are there to be entertained, and unlike other entertainment media platforms such as television or venue based locations such as Cinemas, where the entertainment is passive, Nightclubs offer the perfect interactive entertainment venue. All that a brand needs to know is, how to provide the audience or consumer with a “Brand Entertainment” experience.
In most advertising scenarios, the brand message is pushed, in-between the entertainment. This is noticed in everything from Radio, television, Cinema and even a magazine. The key difference in christening the Nightclub as a media platform, is that it allows the brand to entertain!
What does Brand Entertainment mean? In context to nightclubs, brand entertainment would mean that the brand message, product or service is actually disguised as part of the entertainment, and is subtly different from what “branded entertainment” is. It can be interactive, and engaging, where the consumer is unaware of any distinction between advert and entertainment and the brand is thus accepted with brand recall lasting a lot longer.
Digital Advertising and Brand Entertainment Scenarios:
The more simple methods of current advertising in Nightclubs have been banners, branded coasters and back lit posters. Some modern clubs have evolved to inserting adverts in between visual entertainment on screens in the clubs. This is nothing more than the cable TV advertising model. The closest that a very few nightclubs have come to interactivity is “Txting” to screen, whereby SMS messages are sent to the Dj cabin and the VJ (visuals jockey) displays them on screens. With technology getting a lot more diverse and affordable, the era of interactive Digital Advertising can take on a whole new form for content delivery and advertising in Nightclubs.
- Twitter to Screen:
Every Digital Advertising agency is familiar with the power of Twitter. It’s engaging, and is very interactive. What better way to succinctly pass on brand messages and advertising, than using a system to allow patrons in a nightclub, the ability to send their tweets to the big screen. The VJ in the club, can tie the whole experience to any brand, via background images, running twitter slogan contests, and even sending out branded tweets.
This invites audience participation from people sitting in lounge areas as well as people on the dance floor. With a little ingenuity, the display of tweets can be made to display in sync with the music beat. Highly targeted use of a Digital advertising technology.
- 3D Visuals and Brand Entertainment:
With the release of the movie Avatar, it seems that 3D has finally established itself as a household name. 3D visuals in nightclubs offer a whole new experience that even Cinemas cannot provide. If the fantasy forest in Avatar made people want to step into the scene, then when such visuals are displayed on big screens in nightclubs, the sense of immersion is heightened. The ambiance, music and 3D elements “floating” around people, makes them involuntarily reach out and want to touch or interact with these elements. Perfect timing to have an animated Bacardi bat fly out in 3D over the dance-floor. Visuals with a desert highway showing depth and the latest BMW driving past in 3D and in sync with the music can have a great impact and “Ooooh” factor.
The VJ is key to making this happen. 3D visuals, and floating text are a lot different than normal nightclub graphics, and if done wrong can cause nausea and headaches. This could get magnified if alcohol is involved. When done right however, it gives a whole new dimension to audience (consumer) engagement. Luxury Brands can have a captive, targeted audience to address. After all these are the ones most likely to buy or spread the news about the product, and will not tune out, flip the page or switch the channel, because they find themselves involuntarily interacting with the brand.
Digital Advertising does not have to be visuals based only. Branded music albums in mp3 format can be offered for download from a wifi network in the nightclub. If a private network is setup in the club, audiences with smart phones can connect without having to pay internet access charges. The potential for audience engagement is vast, with social interaction in the form of virtual chat rooms, photo boards etc. accessible within the radius of the wireless network in the club. All these forms of interaction make Nightclubs the ideal media platform for targeted Digital Advertising. This was not possible just a few years ago.
Marketing and Advertising agencies need to constantly brainstorm and identify new avenues and be willing to adapt themselves to the direction that advertising and media delivery is heading.
Dirrogates – Transhumanism and The Singularity:
Nightclubs feature as an important setting for advertising and part of the plot in the story Memories with Maya. Read the hard science fiction based novel “Memories With Maya” to learn more about how Augmented Reality, Quantum Archeology and Posthumanism may change our lives within the next few decades.