Pardon the Interruption

Over the holiday weekend, my wife and I decided to see a movie. We called a local theater to purchase tickets in advance and got connected to Fandango. While I knew what to expect with the various menu options and prompts (enter name of movie, confirm, enter zip code, confirm, enter number of adult tickets, confirm, etc., etc.), what I did not expect was to hear a 10-second advertisement for State Farm or Allstate insurance. Actually, I heard the advertisement three times during the call.

Does State Farm or Allstate really believe this is the best medium for an advertisement? Does the company that placed the advertisement really believe that a consumer's mind is going to be focused on its message while purchasing tickets, so much so that a reply call or inquiry will be made? Just by my saying that I cannot remember which company it was should be indicative of something. Additionally, I cannot even recall the type of insurance that was being promoted (maybe auto insurance). (As a marketer, I recognize the need and value of pure brand/image advertising, etc., but I would not categorize this advertisement in that manner.)

A campaign like this is pure interruption--nothing more, nothing less--and I would be very surprised if the advertiser behind the campaign realized a positive ROI for this placement. To speak of this campaign in terms of 2D barcodes, it works in somewhat the same manner. As an advertiser, don't feature a 2D barcocde in an advertisement and ask or encourage consumers to scan it if the content does not display correctly or the links do not function as they should. If this were to happen then the 2D advertisement becomes just as much of an interruption as the insurance advertisement.

In thinking about my experience a bit more, maybe the advertiser is not the one to question as much as it is Fandango. Since Fandango makes the space available to advertisers, I guess, in reality, they are the ones that don't seem to mind if their client's ticket buying experience gets interrupted. That's too bad.

1 comment:

  1. Good post, Roger, a great example of an advertiser that doesn't understand the difference between push and pull marketing. When you as the consumer dialed into Fandango, you were pulling what you wanted. The insurance company took advantage of the opportunity of your pull to push something at you that was totally unrelated. That will never work. Now had the theater interjected with a free soft drink with your popcorn purchase, your response might have been different. You might not have taken them up on the offer, but you wouldn't have felt intruded upon.