Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Happy New Year - Advertising Predictions for 2011

This New Year, branded “the year of austerity”, will no doubt be hard for many but will also come with highlights for others. You might think that the world of advertising will be hit from reducing budgets and a general belt tightening. However many major brand owners have spoken on record that they will be spending similar amounts, and more in most cases, to last year but spread over a greater number of channels and initiatives. Three areas to look out for in 2011 will be local coupons, product placement on television and location based advertising on mobiles.

Local coupons and vouchers have become massive in the US over the last year with Google even trying to buy the US company Groupon for $6bn. These will become a new vehicle for local companies to create new business and innovative local companies like tickles.co.uk are already offering daily deals to thousands of registered users across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Product placement on television, which I have lost count of the number of times I have written about, finally starts in the UK at the end of next month. Placement is nothing new in the states and with our channels filled with US imports, viewers are already well used to the sight of bottles of Coca Cola and Pepsi looming large. By the end of this year you can expect this to change. While you may not see pints of Fosters across the bar at the Rovers Return, you will start to see placements of other kinds in programs on commercial channels as they try to claw back recently lost revenues.

By this summer mobile operator Orange has announced it is launching location based ads with O2 expecting a roll out by the third quarter of 2011. What this means is that if your phone works on those networks you can opt in to receive ads sent to you based on where you are. So you could be walking down your local high street past a Starbucks and you would be sent an offer such as 50p off a cup of coffee to tempt you into the store to purchase. This may sound intrusive but the key point is that these will be opt in ads i.e. you have to sign up to the service to get them.

Despite all these new and wonderful ways of being inundated with adverts there is no guarantee that the adverts themselves will be any good. So I would like to leave you this month with the results of a recent poll in Marketing Magazine of the most irritating ads of last year. In top position was that affront to music the Gocompare series of ads with that opera singer. The number two slot was taken by the frankly terrible webuyanycar and number 3 was injurylayers4u . All definitely irritating ads, but through people remembering them they have all done their job. If you have any other candidates send them to me via twitter @timyoungman. Happy New Year readers!

Tim Youngman is head of digital marketing for Archant – follow him on Twitter @timyoungman

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