Online advertising is growing 30% a year—but there's more innovative stuff happening in the physical world, where the message isn't confined by the dimensions of a browser screen.
In the ongoing struggle with message clutter, ads that are creative, strange, and often three-dimensional can be the most effective. The future of advertising, says Charlie Jones, chief marketing officer of RedPeg, an Alexandria, Viginia–based agency, will be about creating unexpected connections to memorable, real-world experiences in ways that bring brands to life.
So how about electrical outlets in airport terminals? Bradley and Montgomery's new campaign for Chase Commercial Banking slaps ads just above 90 outlets around Indianapolis International Airport. Plug in your laptop, see the ad.
Or take your typical urinal. (Please.) Clients such as Viacom's Country Music Television and Molson beer are spreading the word via the Wizmark, which fits inside a urinal and delivers sound and images when it senses a new, uh, customer. "We feel we have the most captive audience," says Richard Deutsch, director of Healthquest Technologies Inc., Wizmark's proud parent.
And the next time you step out of your car, you may find your parking space talking to you. Parking Stripe Advertising has placed vinyl-strip ads in lots on behalf of Ford Motor Co., Qwest, and others—with recorded-pitch versions coming soon. Some 80% of consumers say they remember the messages. Try that with a banner ad.
A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2006 issue of Fast Company magazine.