Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Below the Line Above the Line - Time to turn it upside down

I love ads, but I also have this secret crush on below-the-line marketing. It´s the not as fancy part of the marketing puzzle, but a part that will soon get more shine. The above-the-line snobbism is as far from today´s reality as Man Men. We move from monologue to dialogue, from hierarchies to flat structures, from arrogance to respect - we´ve heard about this for years now... Traditional advertising has experienced competition from social media, but what is social media if not below the line? It´s down there, with the people, not observing from above - instead interacting and hanging out.

When reading BandT, Mumbrella and Campaign Brief I´m met by the same news in all of their daily newsletters. Reading the same stories on people, and TVC`s I sometimes yawn; it is such an ancient - and anxious - way to look at marketing. It´s reporting from the little bubble - far from the world marketing managers and CEO´s operate in. They wish to sell, not shine.

And when it comes to selling, below the line is the future. That´s where the creativity grows, where people are approached as people, and not "target audiences", as humans, not "market".

When stepping away from the 30 seconds thinking, you can use direct mail, sales promotions, flyers, samples, social media, competitions, seminars, in store promotion, events, web TV, PR... There is no end, just beginnings of relationships with people.

What do you think? Is it time for BTL to step out in the spotlight? :)

This is how the lovely crowd at

"The different disciplines that fall ‘below the line’ continue to evolve. However, they all involve one common element: getting people to act. To change their behaviour, engage with a brand, sample a product, to subscribe, interact, reappraise, be educated, incentivised, rewarded – and ultimately, to buy.
Every brief is unique, and we constantly find ourselves in the position of forging unique combinations of services to answer them. Never the same day twice, a big part of why we love what we do."

I love this little cool example: "To celebrate Sony’s commitment to offsetting carbon emissions caused by their corporate travel, they created a living breathing grass car and parked it around various public locations in Sydney, Australia."

From Wikipedia about ATL and BTL:

"The term (BTL) comes from top business managers and involves the way in which Procter & Gamble, one of the world’s biggest advertising clients, was charged for its media in the 1950s and 1960s. Advertising agencies made commission from booking media (Television, cinema, radio, press, out-of-home and magazines). As below the line had no media involvement there was no commission to be made for the advertising agencies. The accountants thus labeled the different mediums ATL and BTL depending on where it would sit in the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts (ATL where they made a profit and BTL where they did not) Since then, models have changed and clients are no longer charged for their media in that way.

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