Content As Advertising: Making Advertising An Easter Egg For People To Hunt Down

from the nicely-done dept

Over the years, we’ve talked a lot about how advertising is content (and how content is advertising), and it’s always nice to see cool examples that really demonstrate that in practice. Our friends over at NOTCOT are doing a fun little experiment with Bonobos pants, in which they’re hiding little Bonobos Easter Eggs throughout the site, and offering prizes for people who find them.

The end result? People who are interested are actively hunting for the content, which is clearly “advertising.” It’s not intrusive. It’s not annoying. It’s not deceptive. Instead, it’s desired and it has users actively seeking it out. That’s the quintessential goal, when you do a good job of hitting that point where advertising is good content — when it has absolutely nothing to do with being intrusive or annoying at all, but rather is actively sought by an audience. It’s the holy grail. Unfortunately, it’s also something that’s still difficult to convey to advertisers, who are too often afraid to try something new and creative. So kudos to NOTCOT and Bonobos for a fun campaign.

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Companies: bonobos, notcot

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Comments on “Content As Advertising: Making Advertising An Easter Egg For People To Hunt Down”

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Marcus Carab (profile) says:

This is cool, but I’m not sure it’s that innovative… It’s really just a contest with prizes, and prizes have always been a good way to get people to willingly interact with your advertising (one day I know I’ll get that Boardwalk in McDonald’s Monopoly!)

It is certainly a neat take on it, since it weaves it so elegantly with their core content, and that’s something a lot of contests fail at (though, again, I always find I supersize my fries way more often during Monopoly days, since you only get stamps on the large). But the truly impressive advertising-as-content feats are those where you don’t have to give away prizes in exchange for engagement.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This is cool, but I’m not sure it’s that innovative..

True. Though, to be fair, I never claimed that it was “innovative.” Just using it as an example of a cool promotion.

But the truly impressive advertising-as-content feats are those where you don’t have to give away prizes in exchange for engagement.

Yes, that’s definitely true as well.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: Re:

BAD advertising is what you describe. Good advertising is the stuff you didn’t even notice, and consumed willingly.

Everyone, including me, likes to believe that advertising doesn’t effect us. But it does. And that’s not necessarily bad.

We are all people who earn money then spend some of it on things we want and need. We benefit from being made aware of our choices, being educated about them, and being empowered to choose them. Of course, some advertising is deceptive or manipulative or just plain bad – but the core social contract of advertising is a good one (because let’s not forget: if there was no advertising, many things that you currently enjoy would increase in price – everything from television to city buses)

out_of_the_blue says:

I'm still "actively hunting for the content" HERE.

The weighty stuff, I mean, that Mike promised in:

“I hope that soon I’ll be able to show why there will always be the opportunity to recover the fixed costs (though, it still depends on execution, which doesn’t always happen).”


It’s merely essential to a business to recover “sunk (or fixed) costs”.

By the way, for anyone who thinks I’m alone in yelling about this huge flaw, just READ the comments. It’s obvious that Mike is just stalling because /can’t/ answer that basic question — nearing five years now…

PaulT (profile) says:

I'm still "actively hunting for the content" HERE.

“People who are interested are actively hunting for the content”

Amusingly enough, this is how advertising should work anyway. They see an ad, then actively seek out the product it’s advertising. Whatever the form of the ad, its end result needs to be the customer seeking the product in order to be successful.

Then, of course, they see that the product is needlessly restricted with DRM, by region, by format, is of low actual quality or highly overpriced and so they turn to “piracy” to preview or consume the content. Then the industry blames “piracy” for its imagined woes.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think the question becomes “are they really looking at the ads and absorbing them , or are they just part of the game that everyone soon forgets?”

It’s like anything – forcing people past too many ads tends to turn them blind, and makes it less likely they will see any of them. So does this sort of promotion just teach people to look narrowly for the easter eggs and not read the “ad content”?

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