We Need The Right Advertising

furs bought here Reading this brief post by Jeff Jarvis, a man I respect and appreciate in many ways, I have to think about his premise. “Advertising is failure,” he says to Steve Rubel for an AdAge piece. I’m quoting a quote of a quote here:

In an age when competition and pricing are opened up online and when your product is your ad, you need to spend your first dollar on the quality of your product or service. If you’re Zappos, you spend the next dollar on customer service and call that marketing. If the next dollar goes to advertising, there has to be a reason — and if the product is good enough, that reason may fade away. . . .

He’s not wrong, and yet, some degree of advertising will always be necessary, because it’s product news. We need advertising to know of things like feature changes, new opportunities, and shifts in the status quo.

How much impact does most advertising carry? Less and less, I imagine we’ll all answer, and why? I say it’s because of this: most advertising fell off its original premise: to inform.

Here’s where I betray my allegiance to the premises laid out by people like David Ogilvy (that link will be the 3rd book about or by him that I’ve read in as many months). I think the reason we say advertising no longer works is that we stopped receiving useful advertisements. Entertainment overtook function.

I think Jeff Jarvis is right, insofar as where he chose to go with his premise. In his thought-provoking book, What Would Google Do?, Jeff talks a lot about what comes next in a world where ads have stopped working. The book is essential, I’d offer.

Thing is, I think advertising is far from dead. Further, I think there’s the potential for a renaissance of quality advertising. I think the tools are here. I think the opportunities are powerful. All that’s required next are the minds and the passions to deliver the new (and by new, I might mean very old) advertising to people who seek to be informed instead of entertained.

What say you?

Photo credit marxchivist

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  • http://www.JoshuaGuffey.com Joshua Guffey

    I agree Chris. Advertising as we know it today is primarily a form of PR and brand building couched in, for example, a catchy thirty second clip of a comical, foreign lizard’s witty monologue. It catches our attention and we are entertained, but few of us give any credence to what doesn’t (at least appear to) inform us with accurate and useful information. And certainly fewer of us act upon it this form of advertising.

    In the current state of ‘information overload’, we are more careful than ever what we give our attention to. Powerful promotion today looks a lot differently than it did ten, or even three, years ago.

    I think that soon we are going to start to see forms of promotion that we actually value cropping up in the mainstream. Promotion that both informs and entertains us; that is relevant and human; and which delivers value.

    Dare I credit bloggers with driving this trend? Perhaps…

  • http://www.JoshuaGuffey.com Joshua Guffey

    I agree Chris. Advertising as we know it today is primarily a form of PR and brand building couched in, for example, a catchy thirty second clip of a comical, foreign lizard’s witty monologue. It catches our attention and we are entertained, but few of us give any credence to what doesn’t (at least appear to) inform us with accurate and useful information. And certainly fewer of us act upon it this form of advertising.

    In the current state of ‘information overload’, we are more careful than ever what we give our attention to. Powerful promotion today looks a lot differently than it did ten, or even three, years ago.

    I think that soon we are going to start to see forms of promotion that we actually value cropping up in the mainstream. Promotion that both informs and entertains us; that is relevant and human; and which delivers value.

    Dare I credit bloggers with driving this trend? Perhaps…

  • http://ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    I guess that my first note would be that his title “Advertising is failure” could be a dissertation unto itself, but is at the same time a great start for generating interest, talk, links, etc.

    I believe this is really a matter of definition in that a passionate entrepreneur, salesperson, developer, etc could easily say that a product sells itself if they believe so fully in what they have to offer that they never feel like they have to advertise it, but instead, they simply inform about it.

    When I worked for New Balance, I essentially felt the same way. I rarely thought that I was selling or advertising. I truly believed the products sold themselves to the people that really needed them because we catered very well to certain types of customers. For the others, I was happy if we could match them up with something that worked, but as long as we satisfied our core demographic, advertising (at least the way I thought of it at the time) was not necessary.

  • http://ericpratum.com Eric Pratum

    I guess that my first note would be that his title “Advertising is failure” could be a dissertation unto itself, but is at the same time a great start for generating interest, talk, links, etc.

    I believe this is really a matter of definition in that a passionate entrepreneur, salesperson, developer, etc could easily say that a product sells itself if they believe so fully in what they have to offer that they never feel like they have to advertise it, but instead, they simply inform about it.

    When I worked for New Balance, I essentially felt the same way. I rarely thought that I was selling or advertising. I truly believed the products sold themselves to the people that really needed them because we catered very well to certain types of customers. For the others, I was happy if we could match them up with something that worked, but as long as we satisfied our core demographic, advertising (at least the way I thought of it at the time) was not necessary.

  • Sharon Hearty

    I couldn’t agree more with raising the hair on this topic ‘we need the right advertising’, you may have picked up on Tom Martin’s blog the other day ‘The Loudest Sound is a Whisper’, this is a great piece and not far away from the sentiment you are setting out here. This might be an interesting view to ponder, it is hard not to love those ads that entertain, in my mind they are ‘premier league’ brands and we (the consumer) do invite them into our lives and love the entertainment they bring to our screens – across the pond in Ireland/UK brands like Guinness in particular are ‘hero brands’ – we just love their ads and there are others like this you will identify with – to me they are allowed to do the ‘ad-entertaining’ and they don’t shout or scream at you, they could be ‘educ’tainment’ all wrapped up – for Guinness they were able to cleverly entertain us for years to appreciate that one had to wait for Guinness to settle to truely love the drinking experience. But then this is where brand heritage comes into play and that is where advertising is in its element. But today with the plethora of brands out there – relevancy in informing needs to be subtle and in a way that has empathy with your target market, this will be the ‘heart of real and true advertising’ into the future. At a time where people are ‘battered and bruised’ from the worlds greedy affairs, we seek comfort, we seek reassurance and most of all we seek out ‘trust’ and this is where advertising and indeed ‘mar comms’ will turn on its head in the incoming months and years. It will be ‘real brands delivering real messages in a real way’ though a leading channel like social media, blogs and the evolvement of the ‘trusted communities’ on the net that will build new and exciting brand values that empathise more than ever with people’s lives. This will be the new advertising and the power of online media is that ordinary folks will drive brand advocacy and the momentum of ‘word of mouse’ will be king!
    Sharon

  • Sharon Hearty

    I couldn’t agree more with raising the hair on this topic ‘we need the right advertising’, you may have picked up on Tom Martin’s blog the other day ‘The Loudest Sound is a Whisper’, this is a great piece and not far away from the sentiment you are setting out here. This might be an interesting view to ponder, it is hard not to love those ads that entertain, in my mind they are ‘premier league’ brands and we (the consumer) do invite them into our lives and love the entertainment they bring to our screens – across the pond in Ireland/UK brands like Guinness in particular are ‘hero brands’ – we just love their ads and there are others like this you will identify with – to me they are allowed to do the ‘ad-entertaining’ and they don’t shout or scream at you, they could be ‘educ’tainment’ all wrapped up – for Guinness they were able to cleverly entertain us for years to appreciate that one had to wait for Guinness to settle to truely love the drinking experience. But then this is where brand heritage comes into play and that is where advertising is in its element. But today with the plethora of brands out there – relevancy in informing needs to be subtle and in a way that has empathy with your target market, this will be the ‘heart of real and true advertising’ into the future. At a time where people are ‘battered and bruised’ from the worlds greedy affairs, we seek comfort, we seek reassurance and most of all we seek out ‘trust’ and this is where advertising and indeed ‘mar comms’ will turn on its head in the incoming months and years. It will be ‘real brands delivering real messages in a real way’ though a leading channel like social media, blogs and the evolvement of the ‘trusted communities’ on the net that will build new and exciting brand values that empathise more than ever with people’s lives. This will be the new advertising and the power of online media is that ordinary folks will drive brand advocacy and the momentum of ‘word of mouse’ will be king!
    Sharon

  • http://tv.factor77.com/ @JoshHurlock

    This is so true. Advertising has become too focused on entertainment purposes, rather than focusing on legit advertising that is well thought out and pitches the business to the fullest potential. With the evolution of social media and the ability to spread one’s realm of influence quickly, I do believe we will begin to see a change to the right advertising.

  • http://tv.factor77.com/ @JoshHurlock

    This is so true. Advertising has become too focused on entertainment purposes, rather than focusing on legit advertising that is well thought out and pitches the business to the fullest potential. With the evolution of social media and the ability to spread one’s realm of influence quickly, I do believe we will begin to see a change to the right advertising.

  • http://BuckingtheRealEstateTrend.com Susie Blackmon

    I can’t expound on advertising as it is not my area of expertise, although I stalk Chris to be much more astute as time goes on. A thought that jumps out, however, is that the big difference in advertising ‘now’ as opposed to in the past is that the same tactics of assuming the public is stupid won’t work – - and they won’t tolerate it any more. Not to mention, they DESERVE more. Passion will prevail.

  • http://BuckingtheRealEstateTrend.com Susie Blackmon

    I can’t expound on advertising as it is not my area of expertise, although I stalk Chris to be much more astute as time goes on. A thought that jumps out, however, is that the big difference in advertising ‘now’ as opposed to in the past is that the same tactics of assuming the public is stupid won’t work – - and they won’t tolerate it any more. Not to mention, they DESERVE more. Passion will prevail.

  • http://eventzi.com Scott Purdie

    I couldnt agree more. If i am watching the golf and i see a golf advert that actually offers a benefit to me as a golfer, then il take note and have a look for it.

    But theres so much attention seeking that its gotten to the stage where they are shouting at us to look at them. Imagine if someone did that in the street every day!

    Tools like Twitter and especially their search offer good advertisers an unbelievable opportunity. If you shout at them there, you are finished.

  • http://eventzi.com Scott Purdie

    I couldnt agree more. If i am watching the golf and i see a golf advert that actually offers a benefit to me as a golfer, then il take note and have a look for it.

    But theres so much attention seeking that its gotten to the stage where they are shouting at us to look at them. Imagine if someone did that in the street every day!

    Tools like Twitter and especially their search offer good advertisers an unbelievable opportunity. If you shout at them there, you are finished.

  • http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com John Moore

    I agree that advertising is far from dead. We live in a world that is at once becoming more fragmented (i.e. the longtail) and more open (thanks to the web and other technologies). In order to ensure that your product reaches the niche markets that will want to buy your product you must invest in advertising, of some sort, to reach them.

    Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms help, as does more traditional forms of advertising like e-mails and snail mails. However, advertising will always be key for reaching these niche markets effectively.

    John Moore
    http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com
    http://www.twitter.com/JohnFMoore

  • http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com John Moore

    I agree that advertising is far from dead. We live in a world that is at once becoming more fragmented (i.e. the longtail) and more open (thanks to the web and other technologies). In order to ensure that your product reaches the niche markets that will want to buy your product you must invest in advertising, of some sort, to reach them.

    Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms help, as does more traditional forms of advertising like e-mails and snail mails. However, advertising will always be key for reaching these niche markets effectively.

    John Moore
    http://johnfmoore.wordpress.com
    http://www.twitter.com/JohnFMoore

  • http://blog.zackbrandit.com Laurent Rozenfeld

    I agree with all what’s above and believe that the next step will be a stronger integration of ads within our daily life. Adverts will get more interactive using technologies such as RFID, Bluetooth and mobile phones and on the other hand more personalized. Behavioral marketing will evolve and worth-of-mouth integrated.

    Here is a spontaneous example of how it could work:
    You go see a movie at the cinema, when you enter the complex, you will receive a short video on your mobile phone explaining you how the ad game works. You have to send a message to your friends and fans on your favorite social networks, telling them to film something related to the brand (for example how they use the product) and then upload the file. Then after the movie, you see the ad of the firm showing the results.
    You have won, you’re friends made the best movie! and the result will be micro-blogged so that all the fans of the brand know about your collaborated success. Having won, you get a digital voucher that can be used online or at specific retailers.

    That’s just a crazy idea, but it’s just limitless. Ads will get more relevant and entertaining at the same time…but also more expensive :o)

  • http://blog.zackbrandit.com Laurent Rozenfeld

    I agree with all what’s above and believe that the next step will be a stronger integration of ads within our daily life. Adverts will get more interactive using technologies such as RFID, Bluetooth and mobile phones and on the other hand more personalized. Behavioral marketing will evolve and worth-of-mouth integrated.

    Here is a spontaneous example of how it could work:
    You go see a movie at the cinema, when you enter the complex, you will receive a short video on your mobile phone explaining you how the ad game works. You have to send a message to your friends and fans on your favorite social networks, telling them to film something related to the brand (for example how they use the product) and then upload the file. Then after the movie, you see the ad of the firm showing the results.
    You have won, you’re friends made the best movie! and the result will be micro-blogged so that all the fans of the brand know about your collaborated success. Having won, you get a digital voucher that can be used online or at specific retailers.

    That’s just a crazy idea, but it’s just limitless. Ads will get more relevant and entertaining at the same time…but also more expensive :o)

  • http://www.oceansofpearls.com Josh Willits

    Seth Godin just posted a great perspective on this.

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/04/poisoning-the-well.html

  • http://www.oceansofpearls.com Josh Willits

    Seth Godin just posted a great perspective on this.

    http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/04/poisoning-the-well.html

  • http://scottmoroney.typepad.com Scott Moroney

    Paradigm shift. As the world moves more of our lives to the web, so does the advertising industry need to change their norms. ROI is not only important, it is vital. I want to talk with (not to) customers and other interested people about the message. I also want people to tell me what they want to hear about. Why waste their time. These are all premises that are changing from the old advertising norms to what we are building today.

    Sempre Dritto! (straight ahead!)

  • http://scottmoroney.typepad.com Scott Moroney

    Paradigm shift. As the world moves more of our lives to the web, so does the advertising industry need to change their norms. ROI is not only important, it is vital. I want to talk with (not to) customers and other interested people about the message. I also want people to tell me what they want to hear about. Why waste their time. These are all premises that are changing from the old advertising norms to what we are building today.

    Sempre Dritto! (straight ahead!)

  • http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com Alisa Bowman

    My mantra has always been: Product first, spread the word second. If you have a crappy product, you can spend billions on ads and you’ll always be spending more on spreading the word than you are bringing in from product sales. Just doesn’t work. And word of mouth is the best advertising there is. It’s also free, but you can only get it if you have a great product.

    My husband and I own a bike shop/coffee cafe. When we opened it, we did not advertise. Not even in the Yellow Pages (we do have a Yellow Pages listing now). We were just on a tight budget. So we had to rely on spreading the word through PR (the local newspaper) and other people (word of mouth). Because people loved the idea of sipping coffee while a mechanic fixed their bike, word spread pretty quickly.

    But I don’t think you can do that for every type of product. People have to find out about your product somehow, and even companies with great products (Apple comes to mind) still advertise. I think ads work when they 1) inform about the product itself 2) inform about the values behind the product. For instance, ads that let others know that the company donates to charities and such. The Apple ads about their customer service got me to buy their computers. The new GM ads will probably never get me to buy a GM car. I just don’t trust that company or its products, so no amount of advertising will change that. (And not trying to start a GM or Apple war here, just using those as examples. If you drive a GM or use a PC and love it, I’m down with that! I still think you are cool.)

    I do little advertising for my blog because I’m poor (relatively speaking), but the advertising I do does seem to work. I only know people people come to my site and tell me they clicked through from a Google ad. But it works not because my ads are ingenious (or, I don’t know… maybe they are), but because people like the free product they find once they click though.

  • http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com Alisa Bowman

    My mantra has always been: Product first, spread the word second. If you have a crappy product, you can spend billions on ads and you’ll always be spending more on spreading the word than you are bringing in from product sales. Just doesn’t work. And word of mouth is the best advertising there is. It’s also free, but you can only get it if you have a great product.

    My husband and I own a bike shop/coffee cafe. When we opened it, we did not advertise. Not even in the Yellow Pages (we do have a Yellow Pages listing now). We were just on a tight budget. So we had to rely on spreading the word through PR (the local newspaper) and other people (word of mouth). Because people loved the idea of sipping coffee while a mechanic fixed their bike, word spread pretty quickly.

    But I don’t think you can do that for every type of product. People have to find out about your product somehow, and even companies with great products (Apple comes to mind) still advertise. I think ads work when they 1) inform about the product itself 2) inform about the values behind the product. For instance, ads that let others know that the company donates to charities and such. The Apple ads about their customer service got me to buy their computers. The new GM ads will probably never get me to buy a GM car. I just don’t trust that company or its products, so no amount of advertising will change that. (And not trying to start a GM or Apple war here, just using those as examples. If you drive a GM or use a PC and love it, I’m down with that! I still think you are cool.)

    I do little advertising for my blog because I’m poor (relatively speaking), but the advertising I do does seem to work. I only know people people come to my site and tell me they clicked through from a Google ad. But it works not because my ads are ingenious (or, I don’t know… maybe they are), but because people like the free product they find once they click though.

  • Mark Fairbanks

    Great post, Chris. As a former practitioner of advertising, I completely understand Jarvis’ premise. Advertising has become nothing more than a stunt to attract attention. In the digital age, we have more and more ways to avoid advertising—and why wouldn’t you, the stunts have become more shrill and annoying—while we also have the tools to seek answers to our questions about brands and their products. Indeed, advertising is not dead, but brands better force their agencies to develop the right kind of advertising, and quick.

  • Mark Fairbanks

    Great post, Chris. As a former practitioner of advertising, I completely understand Jarvis’ premise. Advertising has become nothing more than a stunt to attract attention. In the digital age, we have more and more ways to avoid advertising—and why wouldn’t you, the stunts have become more shrill and annoying—while we also have the tools to seek answers to our questions about brands and their products. Indeed, advertising is not dead, but brands better force their agencies to develop the right kind of advertising, and quick.

  • http://www.hellercd.com Cheryl Heller

    As a reformed advertising creative director I find this topic fascinating. There are a couple of important issues that impact advertising today – what it is and what it could be. First, there are more products available than we need, in just about every category. And the differences between those products are so minimal that it’s hard to provide rational reasons why one product is better, newer, cooler or whatever, from the next. This is particularly true with products (like liquor for example, think Vodka, or most clothing brands) that you can’t put into words even if there is a difference. So advertisers, and their agencies, contort themselves, and the facts, to create perceived differences. That’s when things get silly and borderline dishonest. Advertising folks sit around in meetings racking their brains to think of something unique to say about their clients products when there simply are none. The old “competitive advantages” that used to exist in David Olgivy’s day are for the most part gone. Technology and globalization have made it too easy for every company to offer satisfactory products, so there really isn’t much of a difference. So while I think 95% of advertising is insultingly stupid, I think the problem lies as much with manufacturers as it does with advertisers. Really, when somebody approves a commercial in which a bunch of white people are singing and dancing on an airplane because they love their luncheon meats, is anybody involved innocent, including those of us stupid enough to watch it? As for what brands and advertising can and should be – they need to stand for something again. They need to stand for honesty and ethics and the principles of sustainabilty. They need to figure out why they matter, and work to establish a relationship with their employees and potential customers that is based on respect and a willingness to listen. And by the way, making people happy, and making people laugh is a noble thing indeed, if it is done with honesty, humanity and respect.

  • http://www.hellercd.com Cheryl Heller

    As a reformed advertising creative director I find this topic fascinating. There are a couple of important issues that impact advertising today – what it is and what it could be. First, there are more products available than we need, in just about every category. And the differences between those products are so minimal that it’s hard to provide rational reasons why one product is better, newer, cooler or whatever, from the next. This is particularly true with products (like liquor for example, think Vodka, or most clothing brands) that you can’t put into words even if there is a difference. So advertisers, and their agencies, contort themselves, and the facts, to create perceived differences. That’s when things get silly and borderline dishonest. Advertising folks sit around in meetings racking their brains to think of something unique to say about their clients products when there simply are none. The old “competitive advantages” that used to exist in David Olgivy’s day are for the most part gone. Technology and globalization have made it too easy for every company to offer satisfactory products, so there really isn’t much of a difference. So while I think 95% of advertising is insultingly stupid, I think the problem lies as much with manufacturers as it does with advertisers. Really, when somebody approves a commercial in which a bunch of white people are singing and dancing on an airplane because they love their luncheon meats, is anybody involved innocent, including those of us stupid enough to watch it? As for what brands and advertising can and should be – they need to stand for something again. They need to stand for honesty and ethics and the principles of sustainabilty. They need to figure out why they matter, and work to establish a relationship with their employees and potential customers that is based on respect and a willingness to listen. And by the way, making people happy, and making people laugh is a noble thing indeed, if it is done with honesty, humanity and respect.

  • http://www.repumetrix.com/blog Joseph Fiore

    Nice post, and I like what Cheryl said. I find myself being more intolerant to even the slightest contortion of facts, and am probably a little too critical when I see or hear false claims. The gimmick of making advertising entertaining can really lose its effect if your trying to hide something, or the viewer can’t even make the association with the product or brand. I don’t know a lot about advertising, but I’m assuming what complicates things is that the radio and television are becoming less relevant. This generation of consumers is more savvyy and ready to research before buying – the new “frugal” consumer wants products with a low impact on the planet, their health and on their wallets. A humourous TV ad isn’t going to hide the first 3 pages of negative Google results speaking on disatisfied consumer experiences. I see the Internet being the best vehicle to channel products to our more varied preferences, however the old ways of “reaching” audiences have to be rethought and the ideas need to be better at communicating more fairly and effectively.

  • http://www.DinkumInteractive.com Rick Simmons

    Maybe it was the terms that changed – instead of doing marketing and advertising we turned to branding too much and forgot that useful information might be important. While in some cases might be needed we should go back to putting advertising, branding, and sales back under marketing and go back out from there – would make more sense and give a better return – I believe.

  • http://www.repumetrix.com/blog Joseph Fiore

    Nice post, and I like what Cheryl said. I find myself being more intolerant to even the slightest contortion of facts, and am probably a little too critical when I see or hear false claims. The gimmick of making advertising entertaining can really lose its effect if your trying to hide something, or the viewer can’t even make the association with the product or brand. I don’t know a lot about advertising, but I’m assuming what complicates things is that the radio and television are becoming less relevant. This generation of consumers is more savvyy and ready to research before buying – the new “frugal” consumer wants products with a low impact on the planet, their health and on their wallets. A humourous TV ad isn’t going to hide the first 3 pages of negative Google results speaking on disatisfied consumer experiences. I see the Internet being the best vehicle to channel products to our more varied preferences, however the old ways of “reaching” audiences have to be rethought and the ideas need to be better at communicating more fairly and effectively.

  • http://www.DinkumInteractive.com Rick Simmons

    Maybe it was the terms that changed – instead of doing marketing and advertising we turned to branding too much and forgot that useful information might be important. While in some cases might be needed we should go back to putting advertising, branding, and sales back under marketing and go back out from there – would make more sense and give a better return – I believe.

  • http://jigsawllc.com Nick Pipitone

    I agree that companies should spend their first dollar on their product and making it great. They should spend their second dollar on doing everything they can to make the customer experience the best it can be. The ipod is a beautiful product. It works great. And when you plug it in to a computer, the way it works made sense (for most people). Once they nailed that down, they were able to use pure entertainment to sell it. Ads that simply said, “You love music, we deliver an experience of listening to music unlike any other.” It didn’t exactly inform, but because all the right things were done on the front end, it worked.

    That said, as someone who makes his living in advertising, we face tough challenges every day balancing being relevant, informative and entertaining. We push ourselves and our clients to get to the things that really matter to consumers. And it’s up to us to serve those things up in a way that consumers want to know more. But it’s a two way street. And client relationships and collaboration are absolutely essential in any marketing campaigns’ success.

    The agencies that work harder and dig deeper are the ones that will emerge as the most successful.

  • http://jigsawllc.com Nick Pipitone

    I agree that companies should spend their first dollar on their product and making it great. They should spend their second dollar on doing everything they can to make the customer experience the best it can be. The ipod is a beautiful product. It works great. And when you plug it in to a computer, the way it works made sense (for most people). Once they nailed that down, they were able to use pure entertainment to sell it. Ads that simply said, “You love music, we deliver an experience of listening to music unlike any other.” It didn’t exactly inform, but because all the right things were done on the front end, it worked.

    That said, as someone who makes his living in advertising, we face tough challenges every day balancing being relevant, informative and entertaining. We push ourselves and our clients to get to the things that really matter to consumers. And it’s up to us to serve those things up in a way that consumers want to know more. But it’s a two way street. And client relationships and collaboration are absolutely essential in any marketing campaigns’ success.

    The agencies that work harder and dig deeper are the ones that will emerge as the most successful.

  • http://www.kgbtexas.com Sean Wood

    I was so glad to see your take on this. I read that yesterday and couldn’t agree with it. Advertising is evolving and needs to evolve. But it’s far from dead. What was even more dramatic to me was the statement by Jarvis that Google doesn’t treat us as a mass. They offer great utility for individuals with their tools, etc. but they’re just as mass marketing as any other product or service. That’s what I’d like to hear more about.

  • http://www.kgbtexas.com Sean Wood

    I was so glad to see your take on this. I read that yesterday and couldn’t agree with it. Advertising is evolving and needs to evolve. But it’s far from dead. What was even more dramatic to me was the statement by Jarvis that Google doesn’t treat us as a mass. They offer great utility for individuals with their tools, etc. but they’re just as mass marketing as any other product or service. That’s what I’d like to hear more about.

  • http://www.whitneyhoffman.com Whitney

    I just don’t really care about most advertising anymore unless it can capture my attention with value.
    For example, I attended a promotion by Ocean Spray for their Cranenergy drink at Philly’s 30th Street Station yesterday. But rather than just hand out bottles and bags of craisins, they had Richard Simmons there, dancing, singing, and making the morning commute something beyond fun. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was curious and it got me to go and cover it for Twittermoms.
    This worked on many levels, not only because the product itself is actually great (I was skeptical about Cranberry and Green tea, but it’s surprisingly good) but the event was different, memorable, and meaningful to everyone there. People were taking pictures, getting old Sweating to the Oldies music and videos signed, and I met several people just by taking pictures for them and emailing them to them afterward.

    Silly can grab your attention and is more engaging than boring. You can maybe even get your message across, or gain permission at least for slipping in your message (try our new thing). The metric may be how much juice they sell, but the other metric is that people had fun, really enjoyed themselves, and that’s as much a part of the brand relationship as the product. I won’t forget it any time soon, that’s for sure- we’ll see if it changes by juice buying behavior :)

  • http://www.whitneyhoffman.com Whitney

    I just don’t really care about most advertising anymore unless it can capture my attention with value.
    For example, I attended a promotion by Ocean Spray for their Cranenergy drink at Philly’s 30th Street Station yesterday. But rather than just hand out bottles and bags of craisins, they had Richard Simmons there, dancing, singing, and making the morning commute something beyond fun. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I was curious and it got me to go and cover it for Twittermoms.
    This worked on many levels, not only because the product itself is actually great (I was skeptical about Cranberry and Green tea, but it’s surprisingly good) but the event was different, memorable, and meaningful to everyone there. People were taking pictures, getting old Sweating to the Oldies music and videos signed, and I met several people just by taking pictures for them and emailing them to them afterward.

    Silly can grab your attention and is more engaging than boring. You can maybe even get your message across, or gain permission at least for slipping in your message (try our new thing). The metric may be how much juice they sell, but the other metric is that people had fun, really enjoyed themselves, and that’s as much a part of the brand relationship as the product. I won’t forget it any time soon, that’s for sure- we’ll see if it changes by juice buying behavior :)

  • Joe Mello

    Advertising is now mostly synonymous with attracting attention (at almost any cost!) and has lost relevance with consumers/viewers. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to shield my kids’ eyes from vulgar suggestory visuals that are included solely to stand out (and not even build the brand) in the hopes that some synapses have formed for my recall the next time I am shopping. These tactics are used for even common products. Because people get desensitized to ads over time, the “shock value” of ads keeps rising, in order to attract attention.

    My hope is that the increased personalization and anticipatory capabilities of integrated marketing, delivered via digital and cross-channel marketing tactics, and employing other channels like Word of Mouth and Social Media, can continue to spur changes to the status quo. This will enable advertising to shift and become tailored, desired, and actually provide some information that entices interest in a meaningful way.

    Luckily, you can see that better technologies on the delivery side enable advertisers to test and track campaigns better (both on the web and increasingly in a way that unifies channels). A new set of marketing analytics tools will help spur the transformation of advertising, rippling out from digital media as one focal point. New services that do things better and differently include VisiStat http://www.visistat.com with their AdCam technology, and also the ability to view “heatmaps” of usage right on the page. Ion Interactive’s LiveBall (for microsites and landing pages) provides capabilities in another, complementary area. Improved modeling of viewer behavior will enable sites to adapt to users and will present tailored, desired information, along a nonintrusive sales path/funnel.

    In the end, I am not surprised that good marketing comes down to relationships which foster exchanges. This is one foundation of human behavior. The trend toward Social Media shows the importance of this concept, and good advertising should, too.

  • Joe Mello

    Advertising is now mostly synonymous with attracting attention (at almost any cost!) and has lost relevance with consumers/viewers. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to shield my kids’ eyes from vulgar suggestory visuals that are included solely to stand out (and not even build the brand) in the hopes that some synapses have formed for my recall the next time I am shopping. These tactics are used for even common products. Because people get desensitized to ads over time, the “shock value” of ads keeps rising, in order to attract attention.

    My hope is that the increased personalization and anticipatory capabilities of integrated marketing, delivered via digital and cross-channel marketing tactics, and employing other channels like Word of Mouth and Social Media, can continue to spur changes to the status quo. This will enable advertising to shift and become tailored, desired, and actually provide some information that entices interest in a meaningful way.

    Luckily, you can see that better technologies on the delivery side enable advertisers to test and track campaigns better (both on the web and increasingly in a way that unifies channels). A new set of marketing analytics tools will help spur the transformation of advertising, rippling out from digital media as one focal point. New services that do things better and differently include VisiStat http://www.visistat.com with their AdCam technology, and also the ability to view “heatmaps” of usage right on the page. Ion Interactive’s LiveBall (for microsites and landing pages) provides capabilities in another, complementary area. Improved modeling of viewer behavior will enable sites to adapt to users and will present tailored, desired information, along a nonintrusive sales path/funnel.

    In the end, I am not surprised that good marketing comes down to relationships which foster exchanges. This is one foundation of human behavior. The trend toward Social Media shows the importance of this concept, and good advertising should, too.

  • http://squidlog.com Chef Keem

    I can relate to Susan’s comment #5: I feel more and more offended by childish ad concepts telling me “we know you are a shallow, dumb consumer with ADD and here’s how we getcha!”. Insulting. Or… true? Maybe “they” know something we should pay more attention to? Maybe they know us better than we care to know ourselves?

  • http://squidlog.com Chef Keem

    I can relate to Susan’s comment #5: I feel more and more offended by childish ad concepts telling me “we know you are a shallow, dumb consumer with ADD and here’s how we getcha!”. Insulting. Or… true? Maybe “they” know something we should pay more attention to? Maybe they know us better than we care to know ourselves?

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    I agree. I think many advertisers have fallen out of balance with trying to be memorable (by being entertaining) to a degree that the product message gets lost. Many times I personally see a hilarious or entertaining commercial but the product or even company name recall a few hours later is nonexistent.

    In a desire to stand out, advertisers have all begun to do the same thing. To me advertising still works but not in the traditional sense. You can no longer just do a media buy based on GRP’s of Household Units. You have to be innovative, have a multipronged approach, and have a message that offers a solution to a problem (in most cases). Entertainment value is great but people buy stuff to solve a need or to fill a want.

  • http://www.twitter.com/danieldecker Daniel Decker

    I agree. I think many advertisers have fallen out of balance with trying to be memorable (by being entertaining) to a degree that the product message gets lost. Many times I personally see a hilarious or entertaining commercial but the product or even company name recall a few hours later is nonexistent.

    In a desire to stand out, advertisers have all begun to do the same thing. To me advertising still works but not in the traditional sense. You can no longer just do a media buy based on GRP’s of Household Units. You have to be innovative, have a multipronged approach, and have a message that offers a solution to a problem (in most cases). Entertainment value is great but people buy stuff to solve a need or to fill a want.

  • http://www.financialaidpodcast.com Christopher Penn, Financial Ai

    My entire Financial Aid Podcast is an advertisement, really.

    Be useful. Be helpful. Best advertisement of all.

  • http://www.financialaidpodcast.com Christopher Penn, Financial Aid Podcast

    My entire Financial Aid Podcast is an advertisement, really.

    Be useful. Be helpful. Best advertisement of all.

  • http://blogs.open.collab.net/oncollabnet Jack Repenning

    It’s not entertainment that has displaced information, it’s something else … spin, patter, distraction … what is it they call what the magician does so you won’t notice him releasing the catch on the magic cabinet? Information can be entertaining, and some great advertising can be made that way. Consider Apple’s recent iPhone and iPod Touch ads, where they just hold the device in front of the camera and do stuff with it. Or consider the iPhone app “Bump.” Turn the sound off, go ahead, and then visit

    http://www.bumptechnologies.com/index.phtml

    That’s it. One video. Doesn’t even need sound. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, I’m not even talking to you any more, you’re over at the App Store buying Bump!

  • http://blogs.open.collab.net/oncollabnet Jack Repenning

    It’s not entertainment that has displaced information, it’s something else … spin, patter, distraction … what is it they call what the magician does so you won’t notice him releasing the catch on the magic cabinet? Information can be entertaining, and some great advertising can be made that way. Consider Apple’s recent iPhone and iPod Touch ads, where they just hold the device in front of the camera and do stuff with it. Or consider the iPhone app “Bump.” Turn the sound off, go ahead, and then visit

    http://www.bumptechnologies.com/index.phtml

    That’s it. One video. Doesn’t even need sound. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, I’m not even talking to you any more, you’re over at the App Store buying Bump!

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Advertising will always have its place, especially in an increasingly crowded market of voices. Sometimes you drill down to get your product news to the most relevant of audience possible. Sometimes you shout from the rooftop to reach the 1% that will listen. There is a place for both. There is also a place for entertainment in advertising Chris. I do not think entertaining ads fall off on connecting with the consumer. The connect in a different way. True marketing will embrace all these vectors and build a rolling snowball of a brand message. The most relevant, genuine, engaging messages will prevail. As always.

  • http://jasonkeath.com Jason Keath

    Advertising will always have its place, especially in an increasingly crowded market of voices. Sometimes you drill down to get your product news to the most relevant of audience possible. Sometimes you shout from the rooftop to reach the 1% that will listen. There is a place for both. There is also a place for entertainment in advertising Chris. I do not think entertaining ads fall off on connecting with the consumer. The connect in a different way. True marketing will embrace all these vectors and build a rolling snowball of a brand message. The most relevant, genuine, engaging messages will prevail. As always.

  • http://tedshelton.blogspot.com Ted Shelton

    Sure – advertising is not dead. And I agree that it will find a new form. But I believe that it will be to serve a different set of objectives and that we won’t call it advertising anymore.

    Advertising is about interrupt whereas this new thing that will develop will be about creating value (as I go on and on about on my blog lately http://tedshelton.blogspot.com/2009/04/replacing-anti-social-marketing-part-2.html ). So was that mention of my own blog and the URL an advertisement? Or am I adding to the conversation?

    I disagree with you that we “need advertising” because it is “product news” and there I will quote a different Seth Godin post from the one mentioned earlier in these comments, First, ten: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/04/first-ten-.html

    To me Seth is saying you don’t need to advertise, you need to create relationships and if your product is good the people you connect with will help you tell that story.

    I’ll stick with, If you need to advertise then there is something wrong with whatever you are selling.

  • http://tedshelton.blogspot.com Ted Shelton

    Sure – advertising is not dead. And I agree that it will find a new form. But I believe that it will be to serve a different set of objectives and that we won’t call it advertising anymore.

    Advertising is about interrupt whereas this new thing that will develop will be about creating value (as I go on and on about on my blog lately http://tedshelton.blogspot.com/2009/04/replacing-anti-social-marketing-part-2.html ). So was that mention of my own blog and the URL an advertisement? Or am I adding to the conversation?

    I disagree with you that we “need advertising” because it is “product news” and there I will quote a different Seth Godin post from the one mentioned earlier in these comments, First, ten: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/04/first-ten-.html

    To me Seth is saying you don’t need to advertise, you need to create relationships and if your product is good the people you connect with will help you tell that story.

    I’ll stick with, If you need to advertise then there is something wrong with whatever you are selling.