27 Oct

Media, Ads and You: The Love Triangle You Can’t Escape

By Victoria Knepp, Account Associate 
As a graduate with degrees in public relations and advertising, I like to think I am a master of knowing the difference between the two, but also knowing they are hopelessly intertwined. Any brand loves a good opportunity for publicity and positive association, but advertisers have an easy and lucrative way to do this. I’ll give you a hint. Product. Placement. Okay, I came right out and told you, but sometimes product placement is so blatantly obvious, it hurts.

There have been countless studies that say we are exposed to somewhere between 3,500 to 5,000 ads a day. Looking at the number it’s hard to believe. But, if you pay attention, you’ll realize just how integrated they are into your daily life and how all the media you love have an inescapable relationship with ads that will never go away.Illustration by Abby Brown, Rasor Marketing Communications Creative Associate.

We’ve all tried relentlessly to break up with ads. As always, you can change the channel when commercials come on, but now we have online “ad-less” streaming, DVR recording shows and of course there are always movies. But, ads just won’t give up on you. Brands are so seamlessly incorporated into your favorite shows and movies you don’t even realize it. These are the times I have to commend the advertising industry and have a little more love for that part of the triangle. Think about it, you just see an iPhone, a Coke or an Audi and recognize that as something normal or relatable, not necessarily an ad.

In the marketing communications industry, one of my jobs for our clients is to keep an eye out for all client and competitor advertising whenever I’m out and about. At first, I thought it might be difficult to find enough to capture, but it’s like ads just want to be everywhere I am.

I went to Great American Ballpark, but in between innings I found myself subconsciously snapping pictures of ads on the cup holders, the outfield and the score board. I go for a run and see ads on benches, in store windows and even on trash cans. When I watch movies, even in theaters I can’t help but to call out “product placement!” every time I see it.

I sound like the worst, don’t I? But I promise I’m not alone. Recently I was watching the Miss America pageant with a friend, and instead of talking about Miss Tennessee’s amazing piano performance she said “Wow, that’s some great publicity for that piano company.”

So go ahead and try it. Pay attention for a day and see how many times you realize that sneaky little third wheel is everywhere. You’ll be surprised.