Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Urinals: the new marketing medium...

On January 19th 2006, Katherine Stone wrote an article about a new marketing campaign that is very different from anything else out there. It is an “interactive” Heat Activated Urinal Billboard (HAUB). This HAUB is the newest thing that uses the recent technology of heat sensitive ink and went five steps further. The HAUB works in the following way. A man comes into the bathroom and begins to use the urinal. The heat from the urine makes the message appear. Obviously when one is urinating, it is interesting if a message appears in the urinal. After the male leaves, the automatic flusher will wipe away the message by regulating the temperature. The next man that comes into the urinal will not have any idea that there will be a message in the urinal when he urinates.
The interactive Heat Activated Urinal Billboard is “the perfect guerrilla medium,” states Stone. And it appears that is the truth. The HAUB allows for a company to get across its message in an unconventional manner. People are bombarded with marketing messages and information all the time. In order to actually get through, companies must think outside of the box. The HAUB is definitely way outside of the box. It is a marketing communications tool that allows for companies to advertise to men specifically. Additionally, the HAUB will create a buzz effect. People will begin to talk about the funny or interesting advertisement that they saw while they were in the bathroom. Word of mouth around the campaign would explode. Something that eye catching would create so much talk around it that that word of mouth would almost be as important as the campaign’s capture rate itself.
The article informs marketing in a few different ways. First of all, it is important for all marketers to stay abreast of all the current technological advances that are occurring. The heat sensitive ink was taken to the next level of usefulness through HAUB. The article helps to inform marketers about this type of technology that may be helpful for their own campaign. Secondly, the article informs marketing by expressing the different ways to go outside of the box. Marketing managers must be creative and innovative when they are thinking of ways to get their message to consumers. The more ideas and information that they can receive about other companies that have successfully created a campaign that is different from anything else will help them to continue to go outside of the box. If a marketing manager stays ignorant to ideas such as the HAUB, then they will be at a disadvantage in compared to their competitors.
My understanding of marketing was improved in regards to the ways marketers can communicate with their target market. Ideas such as the HAUB cut through the marketing noise that consumers hear all day. It grabs a person’s attention and allows the company a few seconds of a consumer’s time. That is a very important thing for a marketer. The more time you get from a consumer that is focused on your product, the more saturation you will achieve.
The article was extremely interesting. It was very unique and something that I was unaware of before I read it. Stone touched on the technology of the HAUB as well as how one specific campaign used the technology. Additionally, it went into explain the ways that it is beneficial for a marketing campaign. However, it would have been helpful to see more specific numbers on the success of the campaign. I was unclear about how they measured the success of this campaign. The article mentioned that “the interest generated by HAUB in New Zealand, did more for drink driving awareness than any other campaign of its type in the past.” However, I do not have any way to compare that to anything else. It does not say what the capture rate was or any other way that they measured the success. In order for companies to invest in an idea such as HAUB, it is extremely important to be able to way the costs and benefits. If the cost of the HAUB was extremely high monetarily, but the success rate was double that of a slightly less expensive campaign, then it would make sense to use the HAUB. However, none of those numbers were included in the article. The HAUB sounds like a great idea but it was not clear whether it was really feasible for companies.

Original article found at: http://decentmarketing.typepad.com/weblog/2006/01/index.html

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