At the risk of stating the obvious, advertising is changing.
Today I saw an ad on the London Underground for Abbey Bank (part of Santander group). They currently probably wish they were still a Building Society like good old Nationwide (whose current advertising seems to be suggesting they are too boring to take any risks with your money). However this is by the by.
I don't remember much about the ad but I did notice the call to action:
“Visit your local branch or abbey.com”
Hurrah! At last we seem to be freed from "www". Not to mention "http://".
Didn’t take long, did it?
If one types "abbey.com" into Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, one duly gets straight to the Abbey Home Page. It also worked on my Blackberry. Job done.
Admittedly, at Oxford Circus, I couldn’t click on a 2D code to view the mobile website for full information. Indeed I couldn’t even get a mobile signal on the tube. But these things will soon change. Indeed if your brand is well known and you’ve bought all the right urls, it could be argued that you don't even need to promote the website on your ads; people will find "abbey.com" anyway.
There was a time when certain ads were deemed to be ‘image/ awareness’ and others ‘direct response’. The Ad Agency Art Director fought bitterly against cluttering up the former with as much as a phone number (frequently creating a work of what Elvis Costello has termed ‘useless beauty’), while the latter was delegated to a junior team and often ended up as a cluttered mess, pulling response at the expense of the brand image.
Those days are gone. Today, thanks to the internet, every marketing communication can create and reinforce brand image and promote response/ dialogue via whatever medium the consumer prefers.
Today, all ads are 'above the line'. And response drivers.