Looks like the venerable BusinessWeek magazine is jumping on the experiential bandwagon. According to this article:
…more attention is being paid to what lies below the line. One top marketing executive at a major retailer estimates that his company has doubled such spending, to about 20% of its overall marketing budget, in the past five years. A survey by Veronis Suhler Stevenson found that spending on below-the-line initiatives accounted for 62% of total marketing spending in 2008, up from 57% in 2004, while standard advertising accordingly fell 5%….
….So can campaigns such as Metrotwin or BabyCenter be deemed advertising or not? A promotional vehicle or an actual media property? Good questions. Or, rather: good points regarding how blurred the lines between everything are becoming. In many cases, "it's hard to tell, in terms of intent, what is advertising and what is promotion," says John Rose, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, which touched on the issues "below the line" raises in a recent research paper.
The context of the article is the economic downturn, equating the slowdown in the marketplace with the contraction in traditional ad spending. Anyone who has been paying attention to how advertising adn marketing is done in hyper-developing countries will immediately recognize that the advent of below-the-line is directly related to a growing middle class with poverty-class values. What does it matter if its promotion versus advertising to a Paulistano in Sao Paulo or a Mumbaiker in Mumbai? The experience is the message, people.