When was the last time you walked down the strip in Las Vegas? Can you remember which ads you saw? Which billboards stood out in your mind? Does one hotel stand out or do they all sort of stand out when you think about one of them?
I spent the weekend here in Vegas (business, not pleasure). During my only short break, I walked along the Vegas strip. Without question, I saw more ads in that short little while than I have seen all week. Las Vegas is advertising overload. The ads are bigger, brighter, more compelling and had a lot of tech attached to them, but which ones were truly memorable? Which ones were truly remarkable?
It's advertising overload.
That is the main reason why consumers push back when asked about advertising. They'll say everything from, "I wish there was less advertising" to "ads don't work." That's a myth, ads work fine (just ask the many brands and agencies responsible for placing ads everywhere from the bottom of the plastic bin where you put your shoes to get through security at the airport to the top, back and sides of the cabs). If you ever think that mass advertising doesn't work, just stop and stare at the many passer-buyers in a Las Vegas hotel lobby who look at the shows, the restaurant menus or make a mad dash for the people with the free samples.
Advertising is not just a 30-second spot on TV.
What's even more interesting is how those that convert the gazers into buyers are the ones who engage. The ones who try to create some semblance of a real interaction between real human beings. Countless people stare at the show posters, but the ones who take out their wallets are the ones who are then asked by a concierge what type of entertainment they're looking for.
Unless you are really engaging and creating those interactions, you're simply going to go unnoticed. Unless you provide value, connect and share, you're simply going to go unnoticed. No matter how many lights, no matter how big, and no matter how blatant your message is. It simply won't push through.
What really works in Vegas also works in Social Media: a personal connection with something relevant to a group of people (or even an individual) who are already interested in connecting. Everything else is simply more noise.