Advertisers currently fund - one way or another - some form of content and embed their messaging inside or alonsgide. In Media 2.0, advertisers must move on from interruption of experience to enhancement of experience.
Deep in the labs at Rights Marketing we work on what comes next. And the idea we keep coming back to is micro-sponsorship, aka 'reverse adtech'.
We see a day when advertisers will bid to sponsor the individual entertainment and other mediated experiences of desirable (affluent, commercially attractive) consumers.
It goes like this: the organisers of (say) the webcasting of a music concert offer the sponsorship rights to the usual suspects in media buying. 4 fmcg brands commit to enter the bidding program: Dominos, Coke, T-mobile and Quiksilver. When consumers sign up for the event, brands bid to be the unique sponsor of their experience of the content (and this can be offered to groups of friends - the tribal piece - as well as individuals).
Each brand not only commits to foot the basic bill for the consumer who signs up: they sweeten the bid with brand-exclusive, event-specific enhancements such as discount coupons (via web or mobile) for food and snacks during the event, online and/or mobile services to increase the individual (or especially the tribal) enjoyment of the event (for example rich chat environments where friends can connect and make new friends), or exclusive promotional merchandise (caps, t-shirts, even a branded CD of the concert to your door 24 hours later).
Consider for a second the Return on (yes, not cheap) Investment that derives from the remarkable Return on Attention that micro-sponsorship creates. The brand that wins the bid moves immediately from the usual painful and suspicious hovering around the outskirts of the party ('trendy vicar', as it's sometimes cruelly called) to occupy a welcomed and value-adding role not too far from the event core. The opt-in factor is highly positive, and the CRM potential is, for once, both genuine and large. And brand-consumer permissions go sky-high.
I wonder if at least some resolution of the well-documented marketers' conumdrum (innovation and accountability) may lie in the adoption of this reverse-engineered advertising. We'll certainly be suggesting it for our clients.