Advertising has a rosy future and expanding opportunities thanks to increasing consumer demand that everything should be free.
That’s according to a new report from Universal McCann which examines the expectation that online services will be free and analyses its impact on advertising opportunities.
‘Welcome to the Free World’ explains how consumers have become accustomed to getting information and services for nothing online and how this model could spread to other sectors of the economy such as travel, entertainment and fashion.
The report examines the business models of the new Free World to consumer businesses such as Skype, Facebook, Habbo and YouTube and shows where they get their revenue as well as highlighting the additional opportunities for brands to participate in the Free World.
Five key actions for brands that want to take advantage are highlighted including the need to talk to innovative media owners and discover what they have to offer and engage with online sites seeking more revenue.
Marketers also need to spread their message far and wide: as consumers increasingly focus their web experience around platforms such as video sharing sites and personal homepages, brands need to move away from banners and corporate websites.
Brands are advised to invest more in online. As more free services develop online consumers will spend more time there, cash should be shifted from TV and radio.
Focusing on ideas is recommended. With an infinite amount of content now available, only strong creative ideas backed by multimedia executions that allow consumers to take part will stand a chance.
Finally, that are advised to ‘Do - don’t just show’. Branded content, services and events will be ever more important as being free is all that matters but the experience must be useful, entertaining and genuinely beneficial to stand out.
‘Welcome to the Free World ‘also cites three examples of brands that have successfully taken advantage of the new environment, including an Intel programme on MySpace in Europe, an Xbox 360 deal with MSN Live Messenger in France and Microsoft’s placement of instructional videos on VideoJug.
Head of Consumer Futures for EMEA at Universal McCann, Tom Smith, said, “Free will be the dominant metric of the digital world and brands that are willing to be creative are a very strong position to take advantage.
“If they want to be successful in this environment
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