Mary Beth Kemp

I had to cross Paris this morning to speak at a conference.  And in the soft spring weather, I was struck by the number of people on bikes.  It’s nowhere near Amsterdam, but since I only go through the center of Paris very occasionally before 9 in the morning, I noticed the change. 

Many of the cycling commuters were on Paris’ new Vélibe, the essentially free bikes funded as an exchange for the right to an outdoor advertising concession.  No, there aren’t screens on the bikes, nor advertising on the stands where the bikes are rented.  At least, not yet.

But advertising has certainly taken to the road.  There is a growing game of cat and mouse between consumers and advertisers.  Consumers are evading ads and marketers are finding ever more ways to get in contact with them. 

I’m working on a platform called Ubiquitous Marketing, which examines many of these new marketing channels that try to follow consumers where ever they go:  from health clubs and grocery stores, to the strip in Vegas; from shopping malls, to anywhere any of us are, thanks to that mobile phone we all have in our pocket.

What surprising or strange places have you seen advertising crop up?   What have you tried for your brand or recommended to your clients? And how must marketing messages evolve to take into account these new – and often very personal – media? 

Meanwhile, to get away from us all, I’ll be taking a spin on my bike.