…says John Hayes of American Express about the future of marketing. I highly recommend this Interview with him. Even though it’s a few months old, John Hayes says a few things that I agree on, and of which I hope that he continues to be right about.

What really got me to write this was a post, that I found: Gareth Kay wonders about a $200m product placement deal of VW.

NY Times has a story on it. VW can place its cars in movies of Universal, TV shows of NBC and sibling networks, and can even promote its cars on DVDs and in the Universal theme parks.

But no one expects product placement to replace traditional corporate advertising campaigns in the foreseeable future. „The classical communications tools like advertising will always be there and we will always need them,“ said Dirk Grosse-Leege.
„But product placement is gaining much more importance,“ Mr. Grosse-Leege said, noting that some of the money to pay for the deal with NBC Universal will come from the budget for traditional advertising.

Notice the way it’s going? Of course, traditional campaigns are not yet a thing of the past. But spending $200m on product placement, while the overal advertising budget of VW and partners is roughly $600m – I call that quite a big step…

Apart from maybe the Super Bowl, where quite a few people aparently TiVO the game (in this case: searching for the ads, skipping the game, instead of vice versa, for which the „verb“ TiVO is now used), the traditional „I TELL YOU!“ advertising is decreasing. Now it’s more of a „let me tell you“. Meaning advertisers are more and more trying to find listeners in places and channels where they are more inclined to be receptive to the message. Or story – because that’s where advertising, in the case of VW, is trying to find its place. Within a set story.

Ford’s British division also paid the author Carole Matthews to mention the Fiesta, a model sold in Europe, in two novels. (Also from the NY Times article)

It’s a general trend, that the big advertising $$ are put into other than the traditional media, trying channels that have so far not played such a great role in advertising.
Think about BMW Films or the American Express Seinfeld Episodes (which don’t seem to be online any longer). Several minute long films, that sit happily on the web waiting for users to find and enjoy them. And the story isn’t even about the car. The car is only one accessory of the story.

Or think about Online Games. PepsiCo chose to launch its soft drink, Mountain Dew, in Finland almost exclusively through Habbo Hotel. This was more of a sponsorship, I think, but the trend of ads in online games is huge, as online games outgrow traditional single-player desktop games.

The media landscape is continously fragmenting with the target audience increasingly in control. And while this statement isn’t new, I think we still haven’t seen the least of this development. John Hayes of American Express said last year, that they now only spend 35% of their budget on TV, coming from around 80% a decade ago.
Wait for more exciting announcements of big companies shifting their advertising budgets, as the consumer is all-ways on.