13 Dec

Imagine; a world without billboard advertising

From the International Herald Tribune:Sao Paulo - Source: International Herald Tribune

“SÃO PAULO: Imagine a modern metropolis with no outdoor advertising: no billboards, no flashing neon signs, no electronic panels with messages crawling along the bottom.”

Is this the beginning of the end of “interruption marketing”? Will it work? Will it negatively impact their economy?

I hope they push this through; imagine this as a marketing experiment! We’ll be able to observe what actually happens:

  • Will it impact sales? Will it slow down consumption, the pillar of our capitalist system? I think the answer to that is no; we have more media opportunities now to reach consumers than ever before. It will just be a shift
  • What will the alternatives strategies be? It will certainly free up some cash. Will it go online? Will we see a spike in online advertising for Sao Paulo?
  • How will consumers respond to this new environment? Will the city look better, or will it be boring and dull?

“I think this city is going to become a sadder, duller place,” said Dalton Silvano, who cast the sole dissenting vote and is in the advertising business. “Advertising is both an art form and, when you’re in your car or alone on foot, a form of entertainment that helps relieve solitude and boredom.”

I remember travelling behind the Iron Curtain in the 80’s and I tell you, for all the ugliness of billboard advertising, it’s still better than grey concrete everywhere. If it is successful, will other cities follow this example? I would imagine that there are plenty of people that would support this idea.