Widgets Are the New Promos

My friend Arve brought a recent Ad Age article to my attention where Bob Garfield looks at web and desktop widgets through the lens of promotional products. His basic argument is that widgets are a terrific marketing tool that should be used more. They’re an unobtrusive, but lasting presence that’s a near-ideal way to convey a marketing message and increase brand exposure, just like physical promos. In the course of doing so he also says, “it’s hard for mere words to convey how déclassé the advertising-specialty niche is.” Of course, in a world where the real action is in online and promotional/guerrilla advertising, it would be hard for mere words to describe how obsolete a TV commercial critic is.

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