The digital age and advertising

Nowadays, every facet of our lives happens in the media, making them the main tools through which we perceive the world and our role in it. With a constant technological change, the essence of advertising is changing as well as having to follow the shifts in the environment and human behaviour. What will the advertising of the future look like? It seems like an indefinite spectrum of possibilities. But one thing is certain – advertising is going digital.


The future is digital

Mobile technology will become irrelevant soon. Internet integration adjusted to any daily human activity will make the machines far more advanced. We use many media types. And it makes it hard to recall what specific action we did while handling some particular medium, not noticing how much advertising we actually tend to face. It mainly happens because people are exposed to multiple virtual stimuli simultaneously, and most of their media activity merge with other everyday activities, such as working, socialising or eating.


Ad channels are becoming integrated automatically - delivering adverts when buyers check their email at work, post on social media, talk with friends and so on. Such integration of ad channels will cause a change in the industry, which will then make it possible for consumers to decide not only whether they want to receive adverts but also whether to actively look for them while rejecting intrusive advertising. It will make digital advertising gain importance and possibly reach its momentum in the upcoming time.


The future is AI

Digital media could inspire new forms of storytelling in the future. Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence will have an increasingly significant role in advertising, making the engagement opportunity even more accurate.


Last year I attended a technological conference in London focused on that idea. This helped me realise that VR may become an unseparated part of the business. The possibility of stepping into adverts filmed with 360-degree cameras and testing products on our own before the actual purchase could provide a unique experience of enjoying the products in the living room at no cost.


Advertisers also believe that convergence of digital and traditional advertising will make their action more effective and lead to higher returns of expenditures on the ad investments. Hence, brands started to invest less in traditional media, such as TV, radio or newspapers, increasing their disbursements online by 10%, intending to get to the customers, who already overlook TV spots, in more engaging ways.


Advertisers have begun to experiment with new formats and mediums. They aim to offer content that would be integrated across various media channels. They want to track users from device to device, create multiple stories and use different media to become visible on multiple channels. This means the media may soon become more exciting and creative!


The future is creative

Saying this, other forms of advertising will still have a chance to remain successful, as long as they are creative. A great example of a brand that originally and ingeniously shows its main purpose of serving its consumers is Spotify. This app uses digital data to create astonishing advertising campaigns. In 2017, they used the data, creating billboards and anonymously exposing some funny habits of their users, gathered all their customers by saying ‘you are not the only one who feels/ does it that way.’ Ideas like this are a brilliant way to show that the company not only has a sense of humour but also is personable.


Spotify showed that anonymity and active listening to the consumers’ needs are the values they care about. They took the personalisation and stepped up by creating adverts in many foreign languages to show their customers that they are appreciated no matter the origin. Studies have confirmed that creative ads can positively impact brands and their products, simultaneously influencing shoppers’ attitude toward the brand and their purchase intentions. Simply saying, the creation of ad campaigns can often lead straight away to the ultimate success or failure of a product. Nowadays, a lot of people are not annoyed by advertisements anymore. They are mostly disengaged when it’s just not creative and eye-catching.


The future is social media

In terms of digital domination in future advertising, there is also a vision of the marketplace becoming truly digital and interactive, where the key aspect would be a negotiation. There would be no predetermined prices but a rolling exchange system between sellers and buyers. It would result in advertising being limited due to unnecessary media message delivery. Instead of that, promotion would happen ‘on the spot’ to motivate shoppers to make a purchase straight away.


Additionally, advertising is gaining a double effect. One working directly on the consumers, and the one impacting them indirectly, but even more powerfully, by opinion-leaders, so-called influencers. Following that, there is an appearing mediasphere - a stage of self-performance and a tool for forming an identity. It will force a change in the way consumers interact with the advertiser, as customers will be the ones who invite brands to participate in their everyday lives, not the other way around. It is extremely important to build so-called advertising ecosystems, which would allow interaction between different media.


Some time ago, ‘Game of Thrones’ created an advertising campaign that was mainly based on the rise of participatory technologies and the idea of being jealous when being excluded from a social form of activity. ‘GOT’ advertisers asked users to use the hashtag ‘#RoastsJoffrey’ and make a roast on a character after discovering he is the most hated villain on social media. Everyone engaged, people were liking and sharing content, and those who did not know who Joffrey was, wanted to find out as soon as possible.


Product multiplication, social media, and easy internet access changed advertising while bringing many challenges, such as technological exposure and raising awareness of consumers, who are more often concerned about their online privacy. Geographical boundaries between markets became negligible. Hence, if the corporations want to stay alive in the market, their main purpose should shift from selling to engaging as soon as possible. Consumers are more connected, better informed and have more purchase choices at their disposal than ever.


Advertising has the unique power to make a difference in today’s world, draw attention to important issues and lodge in the memory. It owns a substantial ability to move not just markets and products but also minds and perceptions. It intrigues, entertains and creates lifestyles while building relationships between brands and their customers. Advertising to remain successful must turn into a two-way conversation between brands and their customers, with the customers being in control.