The May 24 issue of Business Week asks the question: “TV commercials. Who needs them?” The piece goes on to talk about how companies – Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Kimberly-Clark and Microsoft are all shunning the venerable 30-second spot for other forms of advertising when launching new products. They’re doing it because in buying 30 seconds, companies are also throwing away tons of money.
What are these forms of mass communication, you ask? Well, online ads seem to be popular – more people watch videos online these days – as do other forms of advertising. However, the example author Burt Helm chose to call out didn’t seem to fit any description of advertising.
He describes how P&G chose to launch its pricy new toothbrush. The company sponsored a fashion show, had a model carry one on the runway and got the thing featured on a television show. The result? “The gimmick paid off, generating press on fashion and style blogs – and in mainstream newspapers.”
Funny, sounds to me like public relations.