Prediction: Magazine, TV ads on way out

Jan. 15, 2012 at 12:34 AM
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ST. LOUIS, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Traditional advertising for products -- magazine ads and 30-second television commercials -- may go the way of the rotary phone, a U.S. researcher predicts.

Seethu Seetharaman of Washington University in St. Louis said so-called crowdsourcing, viral Internet campaigns, product placements and guerrilla promotions will dominate the marketing and advertising landscape going forward.

"Traditional expensive advertising is no longer effective given all the clutter, as well as the emergence of technologies, like digital video recorders, that block the ads from even being viewed, much less absorbed, by consumers," Seetharaman said in a statement.

Product placements -- branded goods or services placed in a context usually devoid of ads, such as movies, music videos, TV or news programs will continue to gain popularity, Seetharaman said.

"I think crowdsourcing is only going to increase," Seetharaman said.

Crowdsourcing refers to the open innovation model, pioneered by sites such as, where customers design and vote on new product designs.

This allows them to take active charge of the product development process, rather than reacting to concepts developed by firms, Seetharaman said.

Given the popularity of campaigns such as the T-Mobile Flash Mob, one is more likely to see non-traditional "grassroots" campaigns get more noticed than traditional billboard advertising.

"With the explosion of smartphones, these grassroots campaigns are swiftly recorded by people and then posted on YouTube in short order, which then makes these guerrilla campaigns go viral in a big way," Seetharaman said. "This 'guerrilla promotion' style of advertising will blossom in 2012 and beyond."

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