Yesterday, I noticed a telephone booth billboard for the Food Emporium, a local New York City supermarket chain, and the product being promoted was the supermarket’s private label balsamic vinegar, which is made in Modena, Italy. After reading the billboard, I thought what a missed marketing and sales opportunity, and here’s why.
From a purely aesthetic perspective, the billboard was very well done and certainly got me to take notice. From a call to action perspective, however, there was absolutely nothing on the billboard (image or copy) that pushed or pulled me any further along the purchase decision process. In my mind, this would have been a great opportunity for Food Emporium to use 2D technology. For instance, if a 2D code was displayed on the billboard, perhaps the scan resolve could link to a contest to win a trip to Modena, or a video interview with a top chef who endorses the product, or a set of recipes using the product, or a mCoupon for the product, or a location map to help a consumer find the nearest store, etc.
While I know not all consumers have a smartphone to scan a 2D code, a URL could have also been provided to allow non-smartphone consumers the ability to take advantage of the enhanced experience/service that was being offered.
It is not my intention to pick on Food Emporium and call them out as an example, but how many brand and or product image ads does one see from day to day where there is no real call to action, no source of engagement, no next step provided, no offer made, no real substance, etc., and they just serve as an interruption? In my opinion, too many.
While I may be naive when it comes to certain points of advertising and brand management, I seriously don’t understand the usefulness of brand and product image ads if, at a minimum, their effectiveness cannot even be tracked and measured. I suppose Food Emporium can compare vinegar sales before, during and after the billboard runs and see how sales are effected, but that leaves room for a certain amount of guess work and assumption. With 2D in place, it provides Food Emporium with a real tool to measure a certain amount/level of results. Additionally, it provides a way for consumers to interact with the brand personally, as well as socially should they wish to forward a code, a contest offer, a mCoupon, etc. to a friend.
Also, from an integrated marketing perspective, why is there no tie-in between the billboard and the company’s website? If you visit the website there is absolutely no mention or reference to the private label balsamic vinegar being advertised. But I digress.
To know the expense of advertising, especially in a city like New York, I would be hard pressed to think that any advertiser (i.e., a CMO) would produce a campaign, any campaign, that could not be tracked and measured to some degree. And, to know the power of all things social, campaigns need to include some sort of mechanism which allows prospects or customers to be just that, as it relates to the product or offer being promoted.