HBO and the Future of Advertising – HBO and the Future of Advertising , In this day and age, advertising needs to be creative. Apart from bringing different ideas and methods, the content must be interesting and generate massive conversations.

On billboards on poles at one of the MRT stations in South Jakarta in mid-January 2023 appeared static posters for The Last of Us, a film that was originally a modification of a popular video game series. The traditional advertisement is about the film that will appear on HBO and can be seen on streaming. Why would a film that will appear on streaming need to be posted on a billboard on a pole at an MRT station?

A follow-up question arises, why was that place chosen? Even though the location of the MRT pole is on a busy road, it is not a wide road with heavy traffic. So the exposure could be higher.

However, HBO not only put up posters on billboards on the MRT station pylon but also knew how to attract the attention of Indonesians. One of Indonesia’s senior actresses, Christine Hakim appeared in the film The Last of Us. Although she was not the first actress to appear on HBO as Joe Taslim had previously appeared in Fast & Furious which also aired on HBO, this phenomenon then went viral and became news, complete with posters and trailers for the video.

Apparently, on social media HBO is also moving. Video trailers also appear on various social media. So that the promotional campaign is truly structured, systematic, and massive.

The existence of these adverts on social media clearly creates a different experience for social media users. Even though some social media influencers can produce videos with high standards of audio and video, they are still far below the audio and video quality of a standard film on HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV. That’s why despite being an advert, many social media users willingly feature them on their accounts.

That’s why when there were widespread riots in France followed by massive destruction and looting in early July 2023, a number of social users posted the trailer video for the film Athena, which had actually appeared in 2022. There were a number of similarities between the riots and what was in the film, to the point that a cut scene in the Athena film of a bus being set on fire, widely shared at the time of the riots, was taken as an actual event. It is not surprising that some have expressed admiration for the writer and director of the film on social media for being able to see what will happen in the future.

The Last of Us is not the only film to be campaigned using this approach, but also other HBO films. It was once unimaginable for a film series to be heavily campaigned like that, both digitally through various social media and combined with traditional billboards. And, HBO is not the only streaming service doing it, but also its competitors.

Streaming service providers like HBO and its competitors are one example of using various future advertising tools and concepts. Even though they still use static posters mounted on billboards, the various campaigns they carry out illustrate the characteristics of future advertising, such as experiential, measurable, personalised, and based on the devices used can be immersive. They don’t just stop at a scripted story but go a step further.

Future of Advertising

Streaming service providers such as HBO and its competitors are one example of users of various future advertising tools and concepts. Although they still use static posters mounted on billboards, their various campaigns illustrate the characteristics of future advertising, such as experiential, measurable, personalised, and based on the devices used can be immersive. They don’t just stop at a scripted story but go a step further.

This is what, for example, Apple TV did by inviting Lionel Messi, who will soon retire as a football player, to compete in Major League Soccer (MLS), a football competition whose popularity and quality are still far below the Premier League or La Liga. In fact, it is still below Ligue 1, the last place where Lionel Messi competed. In the past, MLS was even known as a competition for top football players who were about to retire.

However, MLS is different now. A number of former MLS young players are now even competing in a number of major European leagues, both in the top league and the league below. Because of this, MLS competition has begun to attract the attention of people in other countries.

This is what Apple TV sees. They see that MLS has a good future, because there are good young talents participating in the competition. Including a superstar like Lionel Messi, who is still quite good, will clearly raise the quality of MLS.

The higher quality of MLS will certainly benefit the United States which will host the 2026 World Cup with Canada and Mexico. The players from the three countries will certainly continue to hone their skills so that they can appear in 2026 by making MLS one of the arenas to hone their skills if for example they cannot appear in the European premier league. So that MLS will become a competitive league.

Because his star is still shining high, of course Lionel Messi attracts a lot of attention. News footage of Lionel Messi shopping at a supermarket shortly after arriving in the city of Miami appeared in various online media and spread widely on social media. It is not surprising that many people want to watch the live streaming on Apple TV of Lionel Messi’s introduction to MLS.

That is why, although Apple TV has not done a campaign like for example what HBO did for The Last of Us film, but the picture of future advertising will also be done by Apple TV for Lionel Messi and MLS, including using the Apple ecosystem. Apple TV does not hesitate to spend big money to bring Lionel Messi, because it believes that the move, which is the implementation of Apple’s service business development, will bring in more money. Similar to the move of clubs in the major European leagues who pay expensive players and then advertise the jersey of the newly purchased player to encourage fans of the football club to buy the jersey.

Clearly a bold gamble from Apple TV. If the film has a scenario and of course the ending is clear, then the football competition has no scenario. Let alone the end of the story.

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    It’s just that if the European league competition or even the World Cup then inspires the emergence of football match video games, it is not impossible that MLS will also be included in popular football video games. This means that Apple TV, in addition to broadcasting real matches that have no scenarios, can also offer the type of matches whose scenarios can be arranged according to the ability of those who control the game. Clearly, this is a product that encourages the emergence of other experiential, measurable, personalised, and immersive advertising.

    Admittedly, for people outside of advertising, the story of the future of advertising seems no different from the experimentation by robots on the moon. There was a lot of emerging technology there. From the launch to the smooth landing, the working of the robots and the delivery of the results to the lab on earth, it was an experiential and measurable research activity.

    Because it is done to build excellence, the technology involved in the lunar experimentation process is kept secret. So that those outside of those involved in the process will be guessing at the type of technology and its working process and the results achieved. Except for citizens of the countries involved in the lunar experimentation process, no one would want to share it on social media.

    This is different from future advertising tools and concepts. Inventors of advertising tools and concepts do not hesitate to show them off so that many people want to use them. And, those who are the first user groups like HBO and friends are quick to use because they can immediately see the benefits achieved.

    They can also get a lot of data and measurements that make the exploitation of the tools and concepts of the future advertising even wider. Of course, this will make companies that have the technology for the tools of the future of advertising have practical examples of how the various features are used. More importantly, potential users of the future of advertising have an idea of whether or not to use it immediately.

    It must be admitted that films advertised by streaming service providers or football matches whose broadcasting rights are held by streaming service providers are digital products that cross national borders. The potential market that must be reached by billions of people. So that carrying out structured, systematic and massive advertising activities and requiring large costs is not a big problem.

    Although the percentage of those exposed to advertising campaigns is small, the nominal number of people who use them is also large. They will become customers who pay an annual subscription or according to usage. Of course, if it is a subscription, the provider will get an upfront payment.

    This is different from non-digital products such as football player jerseys. Although it is technically possible to become a user of various tools in the future of advertising, the benefits will not be as much as what HBO can achieve. Therefore, manufacturers of non-digital products must combine with other technologies, such as widespread 3D printing, in order to optimise the benefits of these devices.

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