Ads on the moon? Are you freaking kidding me?!

ads on the moon?

Fortunately, it turns out they are – at least for now. The message in this ad campaign is designed to get our attention, and it definitely worked on me when I drove by this billboard a few days ago. I noticed it, remembered it, even went to the website to see if it was true. And now I’m telling you. OK, they got me.

But it’s worth noting that from the time I saw this billboard until I checked out the website a day later I wasn’t sure they weren’t actually planning to beam beer ads onto the moon! I think that speaks volumes about the state of our mental ecology.

If there were truly ads on the moon it would mean there is no place on earth – not a single one – that is free of marketing messages. But consider how close that is to being true already. From the time we wake up in the morning until we fall asleep again at night most of us are almost constantly exposed to marketing messages of one kind or another.

I was often stunned in the marketing class I took last quarter to realize the sheer number of different locations advertisers routinely insert their messages. I found out that they really are plotting to intrude into our lives almost anyplace they can. In addition to locations you would expect like magazines and TV, there are ads on vehicles, benches, shopping carts, luggage conveyors, sports venues, school busses, ATMs, urinals, the space shuttle, and even on eggs. Eggs!

Because ads are almost everywhere, each vendor must try to find a way to stand out to get your attention. They call it breaking through the clutter. One way to do that is to put their messages in unexpected places. Like the moon.

That got me to thinking about finding new places to display messages to myself. After all, I not only have to break through the clutter of everyone else’s messages, but my own ads become less effective when I get used to them.

We’ve already discussed many ways to deliver ads to ourselves with our computers and mobile phones. We’ve also talked about physical locations like the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, t-shirts, posters, postage stamps, and our trusty Hipster PDAs.

As commercial marketers grow ever more aggressive and intrusive with their ads we also need to think outside the box and generate new locations for placing our messages. Below is a list of ideas I’ll add to all week as I notice locations in my environment at home, at work, and in my car that would be suitable for displaying ads. Please help me out in the comments.

  • Display in a picture frame
  • Better yet, rotate in a digital picture frame
  • Subscribe to the magazine
  • Make a book cover
  • Stick on your car dashboard
  • Hang from rear view mirror
  • Mow it into your lawn
  • Tape to the kitchen cupboards
  • Change your passwords
  • Make business cards
  • Find a ring tone to remind you
  • Set your browser home page
  • Insert in your calendar or planner
  • Change your PDA screen
  • Print as a wallet photo
  • Tape to the side of your tissue box
  • Get a wrist band
  • Decorate your mint tin
  • Over the kitchen sink

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3 Comments

  1. Posted March 24, 2008 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    My favorite place for messages to myself is my bathroom mirror. I use whiteboard markers to write messages, and sometimes to-do lists with check boxes. It’s great because you can easily modify it just by grabbing a tissue erasing it.

  2. Bathroom Reader
    Posted March 25, 2008 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Speaking of bathrooms, how about on the wall in front of the toilet seat? Some of us spend quite a bit of time staring at those walls. My health club has a “stall talk” sheet posted on the inside of their toilet stalls, and manages to market their weight-loss programs, personal trainers, etc to us as we sit there. It’s one of those unused pieces of blank wall on which a great ad could be posted.

  3. Carolyn
    Posted March 27, 2008 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    It’s not just written messages. Leave yourself a voicemail from another phone with a message you want to hear!

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