OK, the marketing community clearly needs to revisit a few rules of engagement or risk completely alienating consumers. We're paid to be creative. Sometimes this is simply limited to an ad or a pitch...sometimes it involves the delivery of the ad or pitch. Guerilla marketing for example focuses on new methods of message delivery in a crowded/competitive environment.
This does not mean we have to find every free space left in the world to get our messages in front of our target audiences. I have been confronted with advertising on everything from restroom urinals to fresh fruit. Sorry for the extreme examples, but they are as legitimate as they are unfortunate. And in both cases, there was a better way to deliver the ad.
* Public Restroom: Ads are now being tastefully displayed in restrooms instead of artwork. This is much less intrusive and the ads are easily ignored, as you are not spending much time in these locations.
* Grocery Store: Floors sport small ads to direct customers to specific aisles/products. This also makes more sense. You're already shopping and if you want to ignore the ad you can do so quite easily by walking right by/over it.
My initial ad placement examples raise more questions about marketing gall than anything else. The second set considers the consumer and gives them the option of ignoring the ads. Far too often, this is not the case.
* Spiderman: Spiderman gets a Goofus and a Gallant for ad delivery. In the past they have tapped into their target audience's tech-savvy tendencies to their mutual benefit. More recently, they tried to move ads from the bullpen walls down to the bases. Bad idea. If they are willing to spend that much money, why not create Spiderman-edition Cracker Jack boxes? The box could help send kids to the Web site to see the movie trailer.
* History Channel: We've all been confronted with in-flight ads before. But "A Penny For..." has seen a new twist—turning your seat back tray into a billboard. Most in-flight ads are easier to ignore. And while you can always refrain from using your tray, you should not have to make that decision to avoid an ad.
In defense of Spidey and the History Channel, it could have been MLB and the airlines bringing these ideas to marketers. But even then, we should consider the consumers. If we are so zealous for a new ad placement opportunity, I am sure consumers would be more than happy to tell marketers where they can put their ads.