by Jillian Nelson

 

It’s no secret that we are living in the digital age. Smartphones and tablets are in, everything else is out. Society is constantly plugged in and access to myriad applications are at our fingertips. The digital age brings new opportunities for advertisers to get creative. Not only by targeting their ads to consumers they know will be interested in them based on re-targeting tactics, but it gives brands the opportunity to interact with consumers online as well as with other brands.

Have you ever felt like you were being  followed online? That’s because you probably were. Behavioral re-targeting isn’t uncommon in advertising but with everything being done digitally these days, we’ve become easier to track online. When you log into a site, a “cookie” is dropped. That’s that little notification you get every time you enter into a new website on your smart phone but immediately click it away before reading it. That cookie helps purchase ads related to what you’re currently viewing, and pops them up to your feed when you don’t expect it. These pop-ups come in different forms ranging from banner ads on Facebook to a sponsored post from that company on your Instagram feed. While it may be creepy to think someone is always watching you online, it’s a genius advertising tactic that keeps products and brands top of mind to consumers.

Most people log on to twitter expecting memes, gifs and #FakeNews to keep them entertained. You don’t expect that a series of funny tweets is actually a well thought out digital advertising campaign. Social media has given brands a unique opportunity to interact directly with consumers. However, my favorite twitter interaction so far has been a brand to brand interaction between Burger King and Wendy’s. Consumers took to Twitter to voice frustrations that Wendy’s had discontinued their spicy chicken nuggets. Burger King used these tweets to their advantage in an attempt to promote their recently brought back BK spicy chicken nuggets. Burger King dug up the frustrated tweets by users badmouthing Wendy’s and promoted them onto their timeline. At first users were confused as to why Burger King would promote tweets about Wendy’s. When the twitterverse finally caught on that it was a promotional tactic for their own product, the internet went crazy.

The effect on advertising via digital media has been substantial and the exciting part is that digital media advertising is a relatively new concept. There’s so much to explore through digital media and it seems like the possibilities from an advertising point of view are endless. I’m excited to see what marketing and advertising professionals come up with in the future in utilizing the digital world to their advantage.