Rumours of advertising’s death have been greatly exaggerated

Grim Reaper

Grim Reaper

I’ve seen a lot of posts recently predicting the end of advertising and the end of interruption marketing. These predictions are nothing more than wishful thinking.

As Quartz’ Christopher Mims points out, it’s no accident Facebook made Instagram’s new videos exactly as long as a television commercial:

An Instagram with 15-second videos is right in the sweet spot for Facebook: It’s mobile, it’s video, and at that length, it means that advertisers can drop in their short television spots without even modifying them. This is an important but overlooked feature of online video ads, when compared to other kinds like banner and search: the ability to re-use the same creative on which advertisers have already spent so much money. That’s an extremely appealing advantage to ad buyers.

I hate advertising, in almost all of its forms. Ads suck, they’re rarely entertaining or informative and even when they are they’re still usually annoying. Seven years ago I was on the “advertising is dead” bandwagon. It’s still here and actually it’s stronger than ever. Even though I don’t buy newspapers, or watch TV (instead I stream all my media), and even pay for premium subscriptions on services like Pandora and Flickr, just so I don’t have to see ads, I still see more ads than ever.

The sites I spend the most time on, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr are all upping the amount of ads they display. All the blogs I read are filled with ads in every available spot and more and more are putting up roadblock ads before you even get the content. And sites like Buzzfeed, PandoDaily and others are pushing sponsored content.

In fact, everything is becoming ad supported. Instead of their being fewer ads, I think they’ll be more ads. Our books will be ad supported, our software is increasingly ad supported, even our shopping is becoming ad supported. It’s so crazy, we’re getting to the point where our personal data is more valuable than our actual purchases.

And if you’re still not convinced, think about all the information, news, entertainment, services and stuff you get for free and think about how much of that you’re willing to pay for.

But there is sanity and hope in this ad supported future. For marketeers, inbound, or earned marketing, is becoming more and more effective and increasingly more cost effective. For consumers, there is the promise of more targeted ads. I think this is further off than people think it is, but there is hope.

And if you disagree with me and think that “this time is different,” take comfort in the fact that I would LOVE to be proven wrong on this.

This article by Tac Anderson originally appeared on Fearmyblog and is republished with permission.



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