Went to a Microsoft Innovate presentation the other week where Msn presented some of it’s products and had invited a few lecturers. Here is a brief summary of the main points I noted down.
(These are numbers from a brand new MSN research conducted in several countries including Norway).
- The Internet is a distractional medium, nearly 78% use the Internet while doing something else. (But if you read this article it’s more like “switching focus” then doing many things at the same time). People in Norway are more likely to do several things at the same time than others.
- Of the people on the Internet 38% are communicating, 22% seeking information, 17% being entertained, 5% creating something, 7% are doing a transaction and 8% are just surfing.
- In an axis where “x” presents the consumers openness to advertising and “y” their awareness, the following can be said: Surfers are aware of advertising, communicators tend to ignore them. Informationseekers are very open to ads, transactiondoers and people seeking entertainment as well (but are getting closer and closer to the middle). Creators lean more towards the other side of the spectrum.
- In the morning we update ourselves on the world and other non-personal information, then we go to work and work. In the evening we do our personal errands before we let us entertain and perform other personal “social” activities which are not on theto-do list.
- We visit familiar places on the web, but still 48% of all web browsing is spontaneous.
- Norwegians are more open to branding and demand a higher creative execution than the rest of the countries in the study. We also feel it’s more important with humor and an incentive for investing our time.
- The consumer needs a pick-me-up in the morning but tends to already be in a good mood in the night.
And Msn’s main point: Context is King online, maximising on the “blend of occasions” and the “moods of the consumer” is critical for creatingsuccessful advertising.
No all that is well and good, but what is my main impression at the end of the day? It must be as the title says: Msn is the future of ads, but not the future of advertising. What we have seen is a lot of “next-generation” banner-ads. Which is well and good. But is the future of advertising really as intrusive as it always have been? Don’t we need to be more creative and innovative in order to become more relevant and interesting to the consumer than we are experiencing today? Isn’t the future of ads a richer, more complex and more integrated set of products than it is today? Is the future of advertising in magazines and newspapers, or are we going to see a change in medium as well?