Please read this carefully. This is important information for grasping barebones’ ideas on advertising.
The three zones of adverting
What you see above is the newly conceived barebones advertising diagram. It is an illustration of how barebones sees, and defines, the main zones of advertising. How it sees advertising.
There is no part of advertising that falls outside the three zones. The definition is meant to be exhaustive. This means that there are three zones, and only three zones, of advertising, and that every gesture to advertise to a marked will fall in one or more of the three categories.
One thing is important: when you read the diagram you should read what you actually see: 1) There are no straight lines in the diagram, only curves. 2) The zones are all overlapping. Zones are fluent and they are all overlapping.
From here on we will talk about red zone advertising (above the line), blue zone advertising (below the line) and grey zone advertising (beyond the lines).
I am sure that you are already familiar with variations of the first two zones. And you probably already have an idea of the third zone, as well.
The parts of advertising
For barebones, however, it is not just a questions of mapping advertising in three zones. There is a bit more to it than that. With the zones comes the question of interconnectedness and constitution. Here is one thing you should remember: the zones of barebones advertising don’t stand together as pieces belonging to each other, they stand together as moments constituting each other.
This is an alternative way of dealing with advertising. Based on barebones resources we have simply dealt the cards anew.
The distinction between pieces and moments is a phenomenological theme. Roughly speaking pieces are parts that can be separated from each other, and in themselves constitute new independent parts. Like a branch that is cut from a tree and constitutes a new and separate unit (that again can be split into smaller parts). Pieces are independent parts.
Moments, however, you cannot take apart in the same way. Colour, for instance, is a moment and it can not be separated from that which it is colour of. The colour of the wall can not be separated from its extension. Every time there is colour there is extension. Colour can not be separated from its extension like a branch can be cut from a tree. Moments are nonindependent parts.
Here are the implications for advertising: The red zone, the blue zone and the grey zone of advertising are not related to each other as independent parts constituting the advertising message. Each zone does not potentially constitute pieces of the message. The zones constitutes potential moments of the message.
Following this line of thought the implication for advertising is severe. Both in the way you theoretically may want to look at advertising in the future, but most importantly for your understanding of message content (and form) in real advertising.
Messages are constituted by moments. That goes for advertising messages as well.
There will be much more about this in forthcoming posts. Let’s leave it here to take a quick look at what the red, the blue end the gray zones of advertising covers.
Red Zone Advertising/Above the Line
Red zone advertising is mass communication. Commercials, print ads, posters, brochures. You know the lot. To get attention for your mass communication, you need to break through the barrier of contextual noise.
The colour of attention is red.
Given the right position red zone advertising is for everyone to see, to explore and to react to. By the right positions is meant e.g. that you need to be in New York to be exposed to a New Your poster. You need to have the newspaper, the periodical, the television set tuned into the right channel, to be exposed to the ad, poster of commercial placed in that medium.
Blue Zone Advertising/ Below the Line
Blue zone advertising is not mass communication. It is selective and directed at you personally. Goes often by the name of direct communication. Reaches you with the post, is given over the phone, is displayed at your favorite web site. It is handed out to you by the sales person. Could come as a mail to you inbox as well. You know the lot.
This form of advertising is blue zone advertising because it is, or should be, so well controlled, or targeted, that is reached you and grabs your interest by the share being there. It is precise communication.
The colour of precision, is blue.
Grey Zone Advertising/ Beyond the Lines
Grey zone advertising is traditionally not reckoned as adverting at all. On barebones communication it points to all other types of communication that reaches out from a person, a product or a company and thereby influences the chain of events that makes up the brand of a particular substance.
The reason why barebones stress and rephrase this type of communication (as advertising) is that, whatever you say, this zone of communication has an advertising effect. It pushes your attitudes towards a person, a company, a product or a service. It stimulates or it blocks business. And stimulation, in a broad sense, is what advertising is all about.
This however is not always recognized, but there seems to be an increasing awareness of this fact. At least the area is obscure as to what grey zone activity does in terms of image and of selling products and services.
The colour of obscurity is grey.
More to come
Let’s leave it here for the moment. What you need to remember from this post are the three zones of advertising, and that messages are constituted my moments.