Context Sensitive Advertising

In a world in which most of us are exposed to over 3000 advertisements today, and are enticed to read/listen/watch almost 300 of them, you have to take your shoes hat off to advertisers that can rise above the noise.

Zappos ad in airport security trayI was recently traveling through the security checkpoint at the San Diego airport, and found this tray provided to pass my luggage through the X-Ray machine.

This ad works for two reasons.

1. It surprised me by hitting me with a message when I wasn’t expecting it. I’ve been watching TV for my whole life, I’ve trained my brain to tune out the advertising noise from that channel. I was completely unprepared for the ad in the tray, so it got by my usual mental filter.

2. The ad for shoes hit me , precisely at the time I’m holding (and slightly embarrassed by) my slightly passed their prime Allen-Edmunds. Not only will I remember that the ad was clever, but I’ll actually remember what product the ad was for. That’s perfect context sensitive advertising.

By the way, if you haven’t shopped at Zappos.com, it’s the best online shoe shopping experience you’re ever likely to find.

What about you? What ads have managed to rise above the noise for you?

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