Following up from mention of ambient media in the previous post, I’m highlighting another social marketing effort using this creative marketing technique. This campaign took place in the offices of a large company in Oman a few years ago.
In a bid to curtail excessive use of paper in the bathrooms, the media agency decided to focus bathroom users’ attention on the natural resources being consumed – by introducing nature directly in the bathroom.
Thus the dispenser took the form of a tree trunk with paper being extracted directly out of it. It is as if the toilet paper used is not a manufactured item but a purely natural and pristine resource, extracted directly from the tree’s bark with nobody else’s intervention other than that of the person pinching it out.
Fill (2009:728) defines ambient media as “out-of-home media that fail to fit any of the established outdoor categories.” It involves promotions that are “inserted into the consumer’s environment” (Hackley, 2005:129) and that therefore can pass “beneath the consumer radar” and be noticed by consumers more than regular advertising campaigns (Burtenshaw et al, 2006:28).
The fact that ambient media uses regular structures for purposes that are different from their original intended use also makes it highly creative. This is because it allows practitioners to see things from a different perspective and use elements in a novel way and one that is relevant to their causes.