Changing How We Handle Advertising And Sponsorships

from the advertising-is-content dept

We're excited to announce today that we've moved in a new direction with the advertising and sponsorships we do on Techdirt, partnering with SAY Media to provide compelling, interesting and engaging forms of advertising and sponsorship. Let me just say, up front, that I recognize that there's a common thread among many who visit this site that all internet advertising is "bad." And I'll be the first to admit that all too often internet advertising is terrible. It can be annoying, intrusive, irrelevant or just plain useless. Because of that, most of us have pretty complete ad blindness. We either automatically ignore all of the ads we see, or we use tools like AdBlocker to avoid even having to deal with the ads.

But, for many years (since before I even started Techdirt), I've wondered what could be done if people realized that the ads were content too, and if you made those ads, by themselves, compelling and useful, then you could do much more with them. For the better part of the decade we've been banging the drum that ads are content too, and they should be treated as such: meaning figuring out ways to make them as compelling as possible on their own. There is no more "captive audience" and if our ads are boring, annoying or irrelevant, we fully expect you to ignore or block them -- and we won't blame you if our ads lead you to do that.

Instead, our focus is on getting marketers to realize how much more effective and compelling their campaigns can be when they stop even thinking about what they're doing as advertising, and begin realizing that the real opportunity is in teaming up to create compelling, useful and relevant content. We don't want you to be annoyed by our ads. We want you, the community, to actually be excited about and interested in the content presented there. And we're thrilled that SAY Media is the perfect partner for this endeavor. Just take a look at the Seven Principles the company articulates on its website:
Obviously, number four matched exactly with what we've been saying for nearly a decade. But the other principles match what we've been saying around here for ages as well. We've also been banging the drum for years about understanding what's scarce and what's abundant, and have repeatedly called out that attention is one of the key scarcities out there, and it's our job to do our best to provide you with as much value as possible in exchange for your scarce attention. At other times, we've discussed the importance of storytelling and questioned people who think that influence is just a number.

Basically, this is a company who views the world in a very similar way to the way we do, has a brilliant team of exceptionally creative folks, tremendous reach, extraordinary knowledge and fantastic experience in creating unique, compelling and powerful marketing campaigns.

Of course, much of this is an aspirational goal. We don't expect to be there with perfectly compelling content-filled advertising and sponsorship right off the bat. This is a process, and it's a process we really just started. Beyond figuring out exactly what we can do, there is an education process in helping marketers also recognize the power and value of much smarter campaigns. Also, much of this process involves experiments, and if you want to have the truly exceptional success stories, it means taking some risks... and that means that we will occasionally fail (sometimes spectacularly) in meeting those goals. And we fully expect (even rely on) you in the community to let us know both when we fail and when we succeed. But we promise you this: our goal here is to provide truly compelling and valuable experiences for the community, through true engagement.

Finally, if you're interested in taking part in some truly unique, compelling and engaging marketing campaigns, please contact us. We'd be happy to work together with SAY Media and any company who embraces these same principles, to create truly unique marketing experiences. In the past few weeks, as we've prepared for this shift, our team and the folks at SAY Media have been coming up with a long list of ideas of fun things we can do. We just need the right marketing partners to join us and make these things possible. Hopefully some of you reading this right now are interested in being the right partner for a fun, interesting and compelling campaign.

Thanks for being a part of what's been a fantastic, lively and educational community for so many years. We will always strive to provide as much value back to you as possible, and this partnership will help continue that process.

Filed Under: advertising, techdirt

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  1. icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), 23 Aug 2011 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re:

    I've had AdBlock on "set and forget" for years, but I've added Techdirt to the exemptions a few months ago. I look forward to seeing what you guys and SAY Media come up with.

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