For all the fear that TV executives have over things like TiVo and Replay letting people "skip" the commercials (to the point that TV execs said those who skipped commercials were stealing TV), we've always maintained that giving people a choice is better. If the commercials were any good, people would want to watch them. That explains the immense traffic that went to sites like adcritic and the number of people who watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials. Now, someone at Business 2.0 has said that the recent hype over the new (brilliant) Honda commercial is the future of advertising. His point is that the ad was shown just on UK TV, but has become such a phenomenon that millions more have seen it as it was passed around on the internet. I don't think it's the "future" of advertising. I think it's been the "present" of advertising for some time - but advertising execs just hadn't caught on to that fact. People need to realize that any content is basically promotional material and if you're going to be "giving away content" (which is really what ads are) then you might as well make it content that people want. Unfortunately for advertising execs, that actually takes some work.
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