Imagine walking down a street with just one aim in mind – make it to the bus park before your bus leaves. Then all of a sudden, your peripheral vision catches sight of a speech bubble on the wall, with a bold message saying…GETS TO WHERE THEY LIVE. pic1 Conspicuously placed next to the message is an Insecticide. You try to wade it off as a regular ad by an insecticide company trying to sell a product. “Kini big deal…Nothing out of the ordinary,” you say, but then again under closer scrutiny there appears to be a crack in the wall. Suddenly your curiosity kicks in. You move towards the image with the sole purpose of unraveling the mystery of the speech bubble and the crack in the wall…and what do you find? pic2 pic3 Miniature roaches living the life! The creepy creatures are going about their daily activities like everyday tenement residents. How would you react? Would that ad bring a smile to your face? YES! Would you applaud the brilliant thinking and execution? YES! Would you forget it in a hurry? HELL NO!

I have always been fascinated with the brilliance of Ambient Advertising – ads that appear in unusual places – hidden but meant to be seen, whispers but yells at you all in a bid to captivate the usually uninterested passersby. Ambient Ads are so different from traditional media and they aren’t screaming ‘buy me! buy me!’ but are literally engaging the consumer…Kamasutra style!

It is easily my favourite…no, not K-style…I mean my favourite kind of outdoor advertising- Ambient! It thrives on humour, simplicity, creativity, innovation and engagement. You’d hardly see an ambient ad without letting off a broad smile and possibly an unspoken acknowledgment or admiration of the creative brilliance of the advertiser…I take that back…the Agency.

Unfortunately in a lot of agencies in my part of the world, this unique kind of advertising is yet to gather steam. Most often, it isn’t a case of lack of ideas or budget as ambient advertising can be quite economical. It is oftentimes the dearth of daring clients. (gotta blame C somehow you know) Whilst this train of thought is quite convenient, let me also mention that oftentimes, we lack the capabilities to carry out a damn good execution. You may call this ‘logistical challenges.’ So we seem to stay put in our comfort zones – road shows, events and traditional advertising.

Giving up is not an option. In the words of Elbert Hubbard, “a little more persistence, a little more effort and what seemed like a hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.”

Let’s not quit tapping into the immense potential of ambient advertising as we develop our advertising strategy and campaigns. When next you’re thinking of that WOW factor in your campaign, think ambient. If the execution falls into place, Ambient Advertising offers an upper hand compared to traditional outdoor advertising. Its effect on the consumer is anything but transient… You can bet it will always, always leave them the happiest.

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