Showing posts with label value. Show all posts
Showing posts with label value. Show all posts

21 July 2006

Why Advertising is Broken

Brad Feld started it with his Three Constituencies post.  Stan James followed up with some very interesting insights on the model set-up by Brad.  Go! Read them; I'll wait here.

In thinking about this model and all it implies, I started drawing a diagram to keep the value-flows straight in my head, and suddenly something I've been mulling over for some time popped clear in my mind:  Why Interruptive Advertising is Dead.

For awhile, now I have held it as an article of faith that interruptive advertising is dead, just the body hasn't stopped moving yet.  (And if you think the Death Throes of the RIAA/MPAA business model has been messy and ugly, you probably ain't seen nothin' yet!)  For example, I never see popups (very interruptive stuff!) because Firefox blocks them with the preferences I have set.  The Adblock/AdblockPlus plugins block most other advertising that might reach me, and the recently-installed Flashblock plugin catches the remainder.  Do I hate adverts?  You bet!  I find them consistently irritating, irrelevant to my purposes, intrusive and obnoxious.  I've yet to find any exceptions.

Ya, ya!  We've all heard the bullshit: "Advertising informs you about products and product choices..."

Well, if there's something I want - a new house, a new car, some food, a holiday, a PC - I go out and shop for it.  Then I'm still not interested in adverts because they lack the substance I need to make a buy decision.

With the recent availability of Explorer 7beta3 (if you are so hooked into MS products that you simply can't give them up) every major browser now has ad-blocking.

What about TV?

Yes.  What about TV?  Its mostly boring and irrelevant.  The programming is mostly apalling, the news banal.  I doubt whether I watch an hour of TV a week any more.  I'm getting the content I want elsewhere.  If there is the occasional show I want to watch, chances are I'll timeshift it anyway and skip the ads there, too.

I truly believe that interruptive advertising is dead.  Permission-based advertising, and something I'll call Entertainment-based advertising, though is a whole new bundle of opportunities!

My diagram, based completely on Stan's blog explains why:

See the problem?  All around the value chain there is a fair exchange of value given and received (or something like it.)  Except when we come to the advertiser's relationship with the consumer.  One way only.  No wonder most of us resent and loath ads.

Thank you Brad and Stan for paving the way to this understanding of precisely why Interruptive Advertising is Broken.  The fact is that your interrupting me is a form of force: you believe you have to force your content onto me since I probably wouldn't want it otherwise.  And you're right!  I wouldn't.  I don't.  You give me nothing in return.

The truth is that interruptive marketing has always has been broken.  It's only recently that we consumers are in a position to do something about it, and we're doing so with a vengeance!
"There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands"
- Richard Bach, "Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah"
There's a hell of a lot of opportunity in getting beyond the "need to interrupt", too, and it hinges on the advertiser giving back fair-value to the consumer in turn, but this post is already too long.
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