I read an interesting article in November's issue of Marketing News. "Learn to Use Communication's Negative Space," by Prophet's Kevin O'Donnell is a great piece on how to pull your marketing message out of the clutter of every day life.
O'Donnell encourages the use of "negative space" in advertising. His most illustrative example was Charmin (yes, the toilet paper company). They offered "clean, upscale bathrooms, baby changing stations, stroller parking, seating areas and, naturally, lots of Charmin-branded toilet paper in New York's Times Square." This targets consumers in a non-traditional way and gains the brand far more real estate in their minds than any form of billboard advertising.
In the past, I have also called this “fringe marketing,” using marketing to get your brand into the fringes where advertising typically does not exist. It is an effective tool when you need to communicate in a flooded market to a jaded consumer. Recently, I ran a guest article explaining how print advertising is coming back into its own because of the oversaturation in television. This is just another indicator of the potential power of negative space.
I’ve been looking a lot at Craigslist lately and have found various “gig” advertisements for guerilla marketing. Companies recruit bored high school and college students to go downtown and write the company’s name and website on street corners. Seriously, how many other advertisements do you see on a street corner? Guerilla marketing is just another term for advertising through negative space. Google that, and you will see just how large of a phenomenon this is becoming.
What non-traditional media does your company use for its advertising?