It's become obvious over the past few years that competition has heightened in the ad business. Not among agencies competing for work, but rather ads competing for people's attention with all the other media they want to see. It used to be a lot easier: advertisers could simply use interruption to get their messages in front of people. That no longer works, though, thanks to things like DVRs and the web, where some content worth seeing is merely a click of a button away from an ad. There's been some inkling of suggestion that advertisers were beginning to understand that they needed to begin regarding their ads as content, and that they need to engage people instead of just annoying them, since the idea of a captive audience is largely disappearing. So what's the latest trend coming out of ad industry? Nope, not better ads -- just the same old stuff pasted on any available object. The article contends that "marketers say the best way to reach time-pressed consumers is to try to catch their eye at every turn" -- but it seems more likely that people will just grow more and more resistant to all the ads they see instead. Advertising is becoming like camouflage on the modern urban environment. Individual ads no longer stick out, they just fill in the background and add to the visual clutter. Some ad agencies are experimenting with more interactive displays that seek to engage viewers through some form of interaction, but this seems secondary to the overall goal of simply throwing ads up anywhere there's space. This won't make ads more effective, it just leads to an arms race of sorts: after everything's coated in ads, how will they make them stick out then? Sadly, it seems, just by finding a way to make them more annoying and interruptive.
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