Ad Industry Falls Back On Old Tricks

from the this-space-for-rent dept

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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Comments on “Ad Industry Falls Back On Old Tricks”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Prime Example

If anyone saw the Dimitri Martin Person. Special on Comedy Central last night Then you ( hopefully ) saw the microsoft ads that were amazingly interesting enough to keep me watching. Heck they even got Dimitri involved. I think that all advertisers need to do is…hold on this might make you plotz…. take notes from microsoft on this one.

hyphen (user link) says:

I agree...

In the past five years I have worked for two different advertising firms that both specialized in differnt forms of advertising. Both always seemed to think that more ads were always a better way to go, and would focus thier marketing packages around that idea. In my opinion, it was a way to generate money for themselves and not really focus in on what the client was wanting and attempting to achieve.

Advertising has just gotten out of control. It’s all over TV and radio (always has been and always will be). The websites we go to have advertising all over it (look to your right). Even the video games I play have advertising in it.

misanthropic humanist says:

But more is the new less.

How about a giant fuck-off laser show to turn the Moon into a giant coca-cola advert? Or a necklace of stratospheric hypersonic satellites to turn every human skull into a resonator that broadcasts “voices from our sponsor” directly into our brains?

Come on USA, prove that when it comes to depths of tasteless excess you can go one step further.

Stu says:

hyphen said, “a way to generate money for themselves ” I agree.

Judging the effectiveness of radio, TV, print, etc. advertising is difficult. At best, it takes a long time to get a read on it. It’s even harder when many campaigns happen at the same time. Which one is/isn’t working.

One reason it’s big news in the ad biz when a client switches agencies is that clients are in the dark for so long.

Compare that to the instant and accurate pay per sale – internet affiliate model. Bad ads are noticed right away, and the cost of every ad can be known. Unproductive affiliates cost nothing.

mikael says:

ads have become like a strain of virus that we have become more immune to. it doesn’t affect us like it used so these simply means pushing more of the same strain of virus is pointless. you will not be affected by it.

I went a monster truck show over the weekend and half the dam show was ads it was annoying I mean sure put some stickers on the trucks I can deal with that I don’t mind at all in fact I understand monster trucks aren’t cheap and ticket sales will not cover the whole cost of the show, but this was just ridicules I thought I was watching TV or something in fact I think I heard and saw more ads there then I would have watching TV. I’m sorry but when I pay to see something sure put up some banners mention a supporter or two but try to keep it to a minimum when I pay to see the show!

I want the show not ads!

leroy says:

waste basket

What I want is a web browser that allows me to enter domain names, like or and route whatever data comes from that domain right into the trash or blocks it outright. What I want is a web browser that is designed around what is good about the internet, not what makes the internet suck. Let me pick the domains I want cookies from, the rest go to the bitbucket. I want the control, I dont want the webmaster to be in control of my browser.

And then we take anyone who has ever purchased anything from a spammer or obnoxious web ad and prohibit them from accessing the internet for the rest of their lives because they’re obviously too freaking stupid to be left alone with a computer!

Jeff says:

Desperate to see commercials

Back some 15 years ago or so when I was in the Air Force I was stationed on Okinawa Japan. All there was to watch on tv was the Armed Forces Network. Their breaks were military history, base info and the other boring like. Everyone getting tapes from back home would make it really clear to tell people not to edit out the commercials. Just goes to show given the choice between government psa’s and commercials the change in content always won out. It wasn’t until I was back one month before I got tired of commercials, then I just had to pop a tape of the AFN’s broadcasts and it was cured.

Anonymous Coward says:

Cable Channels show ads, there are certain ads that the cable channel allows local cable companies to cut into with local advertising (Mom and Pops druge store on 3rd street is not advertising worldwide on CNN.) It is likely that either A. A computerized timer is not working correctly on your local stations end, or B, someone at your local cable operator is lazy.

Those partial ads you see are sold at a cut rate in case no local advertiser bought space.

Hope that answers your question

EastIndyGuy says:

Leroy --- if you aqren't using Firefox there is a

simple way to block ads on Windows machines.

Open the hosts file and add an entry to the offending server that points it to the IP address I long ago switched to using a Mac but the file should be located in c:windowssystem32driversetc if I remember correctly.

There are several programs out there that will download lists of known adservers and update the file for you automatically if you prefer to not edit the file yourself.

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