Friday, July 24, 2009

No magick in interruptive advertising

Here's my personal take on why classical interruption ads don't work any more as they used to.

Think of advertising as a dominant and controlling type of person in a social group. He exudes power, authority and influence upon this group... but only to a certain point! As soon as the group starts perceiving him on a conscious level, for example becoming aware of his manipulation tricks (body posture, eye contact, voice, etc.) - his credibility and influence on this group starts to wane rapidly.

The same is happening to the classical format of advertising. It's been around for too long for consumers to learn almost every trick of the trade. Look at the growing trend of online advertising contests where "amateurs" are imitating "professionals" and produce their own ads.
(AdHack, Poptent, Eyeka to name a few)

In other words, consumers became well conscious of the method and therefore immune to it.

Of course, there are still some ad-literate laggards left in the world, but they are no longer a dominant majority and their numbers are constantly dwindling.

To summarize: it is not enough to communicate a selling proposition and put a logo with a slogan in the end. It's too obvious for increasingly critical consumers. I believe that the future credibility of advertising will depend on two main factors:

1. more subtle formats (seeking innovative methods of product placement, for example)
2. integrity of the message ( lovertising / ethics)

here's a classic interruption ad for laggards:

and this one experience engaging for more enlightened ones : )

1 comment:

James Sherrett said...

Hi xgeronimo, thanks for the mention of AdHack. I think you're right that new, innovative forms of advertising are on the rise. I like the two you mention: product placement and integrity of the message / collaborating with fans to create the ads.

Heck, we started AdHack for that reason.

Classical interruption ads don't work as they used to, but they can still work. Effective, focused and clear ads still create demand.

And if companies choose to create *more* ads, more tightly tailored to where they appear and to those niche audiences, then the ads work even better.