Sonder | Why flashing is a dying art
Flashers are bygones of a different era. Technology killed the flasher and I put it to you, that same technology is also killing exposure marketing.
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Why flashing is a dying art

Why flashing is a dying art

You don’t hear much about flashers anymore.

Growing up it was quite common to hear about strange men in trench coats flashing themselves in the park, giving old ladies a fright and a story to tell. So where have all the flashers gone? What has driven them away?

Is it the risk of of being photographed and publicly shamed by onlookers?
Is it the fear of being caught because anyone faced with such a horrific sight would be on their mobile phone to the police instantly?
Is it the web-cam’s ability to to provide the flasher with a plethora of flashing opportunities in the comfort of his own home?
Is it the proliferation of nude images on the internet that has rendered a flasher’s main act significantly less shocking for his audience?

Whatever it is, flashers are bygones of a different era. Technology killed the flasher and I put it to you, that same technology is also killing exposure marketing.

The exposure-based communication model works when a brand exposes their message to an unsuspecting audience for 30 seconds in the hope of inciting a reaction. Sound familiar? Exposure-based, reductionist marketing can still incite a reaction for some people, but in today’s connected world, it only really serves as a top-of-mind awareness driver. Not a brand connection model.

This is fine if business growth depends on top-of-mind awareness but don’t expect meaningful brand metrics like ‘a brand I seek out’, ‘a brand I trust’ or ‘a brand I love’ to shift. Don’t expect customer loyalty or advocacy. If you are in a competitive category and all you are doing is exposing yourself on a regular basis, expect flat brand metrics, frequent switching and customer indifference.

No, if you want connection and loyalty from your customers and their friends, then you should take the time to understand their needs, create a meaningful value exchange with them and embrace technologies that allow interaction and feedback. Otherwise you will remain a flasher in the park, flagrantly exposing yourself to anyone who’ll look and desperately hoping for a reaction.