Targeted Advertising Vs Intrinsic Advertising


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There has been a lot of interest lately in “Big Data” and how this will allow marketers to create campaigns that are targeted towards every individual consumer and hence will drive the consumption economy.

I would like to differ on this. Though, there is no doubt that soon marketers will have the capability to be able to draw up and run such campaigns, I don’t believe that this form of advertising will be very effective. Our minds have the innate ability to mask everything that it does not want to see or acknowledge. Hence, the success rate of advertisement, however well targeted, will always remain low.

Compare this with the fact that, we all want to read fascinating stories, watch scintillating movies, listen to scintillating music. Our mind automatically wants to observe and focus on these. Have you ever noticed the fact that your 8 year old child may not remember a lesson he studied in the morning in school, but he is able to recollect the story of a movie that he saw a couple of months back.

What this means for marketers is that it is better to move away from intrusive advertising (however targeted the message is) towards intrinsic advertising (which is to create great content like a video, music, piece of literature that people want to watch/listen/share around the product/service that they want to market).

Coca-cola has done this very very well in the past, which also led them to win the Creative Marketer of the year at Cannes 2013. The campaigns that they have focused on in the previous year have not been on their product but to create some very interesting campaigns that by themselves were very interesting stories.

The ability to either create such beautiful content in and around your brand/product/service will be the best ways to advertise in the future. The focus is to create content that people will want to share.

Do you agree? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please comment below or share your thoughts with me on twitter by tweeting to @rmukeshgupta.

PS: My personal favourite campaigns by Coca Cola are as below:

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mukesh Gupta
I currently work for SAP as Customer advocate. In this capacity, I am responsible to ensure that the voice of the customer is being heard and play the bridge between customers and SAP. Prior to joining SAP, I have worked with different organizations serving in different functions like customer service, logistics, production planning & sales, marketing and business development functions. I was also the founder-CEO of a start-up called "Innovative Enterprises". The venture was in the retail & distribution business. I blog at


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