Back in the Mad Men days, advertising mediums were pretty much limited to print, TV and radio, where consumers could keep it at arms length if they wished.
With the birth of Internet advertising some 15+ years ago, a whole new world of opportunity opened up. Digital marketing seemed to have limitless boundaries, where advertising was the most invasive it had ever been (aka pop-ups, banner ads, rich-media etc). But advertisers and marketers quickly realized that the real challenge was going to be capturing the attention of the ever-moving, ever-distracted web surfer. How could Internet advertising truly engage surfers?
Wingsplay, a startup that launched last month, has responded to this ongoing challenge by paying its users to share video ads on their social networks. This creates a great opportunity for marketers and advertisers to reach target audiences that may have been previously difficult to grab the attention of. With pop-ups and banners not always making a lasting impression, now socialmedialites can share advertisements that friends may actually want to watch. After all, you’re more likely to be interested in something if a friend likes it. As the founder of Wingsplay, Olivier Lasry says, “The best way for online advertisements to resonate with people is if a link has been recommended by a friend or social media connection.”
The idea of Wingsplay is to introduce ads through the customers first instead of mass media channels in hopes that real people will feel more connected to brands and thus start conversations about their advertisements.
The question then becomes, is this going to far? Are advertisers now taking over our personal social media sites? Or is this just a great opportunity for consumers to engage with the brands they love and share fun and interesting advertisements on their social media platforms? I’m going with the latter.