Monday, June 13, 2005

Effectively massaging viewers via scientific use of creative media...

Lessons abound in the ancient tale from India relating how several blind men, upon first encountering an elephant, each touches a different part and thereby develops a unique perception of the creature based upon his own experience. In 1967, Marshall McLuhan's book "The Medium is the Massage" raised the idea that media must be properly tuned to effectively reach people... but nearly 40 years later, the idea of customizing media messages seems almost exclusive to interactive and direct marketers. Friday's story from The Boston Globe by Joanna Weiss entitled "For TV ads, future is targeting niches; Databases, cable channels help marketers tailor messages," indicates that the world of TV promotions may finally be catching-on. Her story focuses on the ability to combine Nielsen ratings information with psychographics research to customize advertising messages for particular audiences, but I was most attracted by the story's lead example of the approach: In promoting its miniseries "Into the West," cable network TNT customized its on-air promos specifically to address the different crowds watching (1) the NBA Playoffs, (2) "Desperate Housewives," (3) "Smallville" and (4-6) three other unique target audiences where the six total uniquely audience-tailored promos were run.

Ms. Weiss asserts that this is "the future of TV marketing." For marketers seeking to effectively engage audiences and drive individuals' behaviors, it's time to tune in.