The Internet has changed the lifestyle of each of us, modifying not only the ways to find information, but also and above all the buying behavior. This factor has obviously had very important consequences also on the advertising campaigns of companies, which have had to adapt to the dynamics of the web to plan new promotion strategies through new media. Above all in Italy, however, it was a change that took place more by constraint than by a real desire to grow in tandem with digital technologies: the mistrust towards the Internet, still present, has pushed companies to invest in digital promotion little and bad. A pity, considering that the Internet is in effect the future of advertising.
The crisis of standard advertising channels
Television and radio have always been particularly effective advertising vehicles, but also very expensive: buying a small promotional space on a network with a wide audience, and in particularly attractive time slots, has always represented a huge cost for companies. Before the crisis hit Italy, the investment in radio and television advertising had its own advantage in sales: at the turn of the 2000s, in fact, the total investment in television commercials grew with an annual average of +7 %. Then, with the economic difficulties, companies were forced to cut costs, especially at the level of personnel and advertising funds: a situation that has made investments fall on the classic forms of television advertising, forcing companies to turn to the web . But without much conviction.
Internet: a potentially infinite resource
online advertisingWith the parallel crisis in the publishing sector, which has deprived companies of a further advertising channel, the Internet has become the preferred way through which to convey the promotional messages of products and services. While the overall investment share in advertising has decreased, in fact, the volume of promotional initiatives has remained unchanged. In other words: companies continue to need to be known and, having to come to terms with a lower budget, the web world has represented the ideal outburst for this need. This is a question that is especially true for SMEs, forced to advertise with much lower investment than large companies. And it is in this sense that the Internet represents a potentially infinite resource.
A rising digital target
A promotional channel becomes effective when it can count on a vast and heterogeneous target: without a large audience, in fact, advertising becomes completely useless. The Internet, also from this point of view, becomes a promotional channel that does not fear rivals: although Italy is not the top for the percentage of users who surf the web every day, the last few months have seen this number grow exponentially. The growing Italian digital target, and the relatively low cost of online promotional strategies, make the web a land of conquest for all companies able to understand its advertising potential.
Users’ anti-advertising barriers
Crisis and technological growth of the company have been fundamental elements in the evolution of the individual, and of its degree of passivity towards the advertising message. If before all the sociological studies identified him as a helpless subject to be hit as a target, following Lasswell’s Bullet Theory, today the user is able to free himself from publicity. The economic difficulties have made him more careful during the purchase phase, and his mind has developed a system of antibodies that protect him from blatantly publicity messages. Billboards, flyers and TV spots have become less incisive than ever before, forcing marketers to alternative solutions.
Hyperbole against Storytelling
The Internet thus becomes the place where a battle is taking place destined to change the face of advertising: a war between the spots based on self-referentiality and hyperbole, and the more subtle advertising messages, which aim to offer the user an emotion through Storytelling. In this sense, telling the product or the company through an informative article, or an exciting video, becomes the most appropriate strategy to overcome those barriers mentioned above, and to propose an exchange to the user: the acquisition of the advertising message in change of useful and interesting content.
Internet and viral advertising
In a historical moment in which most of the users live connected to the web and to social networks, the advertising message must necessarily strike their attention, to the point of turning them into vehicles.