As we all know, communication is a vital part of our society. It is a necessity to survival in a growing and competitive economy, especially in the world of design and advertising. So the question is, how does the input cost of communication affect the outcome? If we spend more money, does that mean we get better results? Looking at this from a wider spectrum, we can compare the two extreme financial values of communication, at least extreme examples in my opinion.
For example, on one extreme end we have the infamous Super Bowl commercials. Companies such as Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, Frito Lay (Doritos), are spending millions of dollars to have their commercial advertised over a 30 or 60 second spot, hoping that the majority of people watching the Super Bowl will see it. Only the most clever and best communication strategies are presented, giving certain companies the label of being prestigious and most creative. The commercial from last year that stands out in my mind was for Doritos, called "House Rules".
These commercials build a positive association with a brand and are truly memorable. The buzz built around the Super Bowl commercials have become extremely high, some only watching this event for the commercials (actually, make that about 10 million Americans who watch the Super Bowl only for the ads). Communication of these ads reaches about 3 times more viewers than a regular commercial.
On another extreme, we have the free (or cheap) use of the Internet and social media. More and more companies are using sites such as Facebook or Twitter to communicate about their brand, their ideas, news in the company, etc. The difference between free communication and communication that is paid for is that we, as consumers, have to sift through a lot more junk. But when we find something interesting or relevant to us, the goal of effective communication has been achieved. Also, companies now have to communicate to more segmented audiences, making it difficult to reach a wider range of people. Even so, the upside of effective communication over these cheaper platforms is word-of-mouth and brand recognition, along with establishing positive associations and loyalties with a company or brand.
In this day and age, we can now ask ourselves, "Does the cost of communication really influence its effectiveness on an audience?" I really can't say whether the financial value of communication achieves better or worse results, but it is apparent that both forms of communication can be successful.
Funny thing though, the Doritos commercial was created by a filmmaker in California for only $80 who submitted it through an online contest...It now has 6,414,156 views on YouTube (make that 6,414,157).