Guerrilla and Ambient Advertising – No.3

I think I should have made a research about the history and the concept of the Guerrilla and Ambient Advertisings at first. But I was so fascinated by the ads that I totally forgot about the story behind them. So here is a late introduction of this part of the world of ads and their history:

History of Guerrilla and Ambient Advertising

Ambient was first used in relation to advertising in 1996 by Concord Advertising, a UK agency specializing in outdoor campaigns. It evolved from a need to apply a single term to what was an increasing request from clients for ‘something a bit different’ in their advertising. Clients, concerned with issues of cut-through, competition, decreased effectiveness and disinterested audiences wanted (and still want) advertising ‘with bite’ from their agencies. This push by clients for something different saw agencies placing ads in unusual places, such on as floors, petrol pump handles and backs of toilet doors – previously not considered as locations for advertising.
Such campaigns did not fit neatly into existing categories like out-door, print, radio or television and hence a new term was coined.
Consequently, the definition adopted for this name is: The placement of advertising in unusual and unexpected places (location), often with unconventional methods (execution), and being first or only ad execution to do so (temporal).
Newness, creativity, novelty and timing are key themes in Ambient advertising. One of the fundamental premises of Ambient is that the world is an advertising stage. Everything is a potential advertising medium!

Ambient advertising has seen a massive increase in popularity in a short period of time. In the UK, expenditure on Ambient has doubled in the past two years to $A156 million and has outgrown all other sectors. (Burbury 1999). It is also starting to take off in Australia and has been adopted by brands such as Nike, Daiwoo,, Imodium, Levi’s, I can’t Believe it’s Not Butter and others in local campaigns. World wide, major advertisers including Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Virgin, Nestle and numerous car companies have also invested in Ambient advertising campaigns. Yet despite this, Ambient remains relatively unexplored and almost no analysis exists.

(What is this thing called ‘Ambient Advertising’? – Sandra Luxton (lecturer) and Lachlan Drummond (Post graduate candidate) Monash University


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