“Bring us great ideas. But, please: NO ADVERTISING.”
By Patrick Godfrey
A theme is showing up in RFPs and briefings with increasing frequency: “Audiences aren’t that into advertising anymore.”
What I’d like to know is when audiences were into advertising. Because I’ve got 20-plus years’ experience apologizing for being the jerk who ruins magazines, interrupts the regularly scheduled programming and puts the pop-up in front of
Audiences have always been anti-advertising. It’s a totally sensible reaction, given that we didn’t ask for it, and that most of it is crap. Of course, we all know that sometimes advertising is worlds better than the content it’s wedged into...but that’s the subject of a different rant.
The weird bit is that anybody thinks this is new. Of course, a great deal of what’s happening now appears new: beards, Chuck Taylors, cable-knit sweaters...that, too, is the subject of a different rant.
All that said, for some reason, many experts seem to think that advertising avoidance is trending as we prepare to bid farewell to 2011. My gut tells me that this is a form of transference. They have no idea what to do about Facebook or Twitter, and break into a cold sweat when faced with something as alien as Tumblr.
So we get briefs with interesting problems, but with advertising taken off the table. Because it’s now, somehow, become an admission of failure to pay for media. It feels dirty. At the same time, it’s considered okay to pay Terrell Owens $4,000 per Tweet.
...and this is how we ended up with user-generated film festivals (but no films), flash mobs (sans mobs) and social campaigns with antisocial tendencies. People don’t want to “engage” with dumb branded crap any more than they want to watch Mattress Discounters TV spots for an hour straight.
The result of all this? A few breakout gems surrounded by thousands of crappy stunts that are much, much easier to avoid than advertising. Because advertising avoidance is audience avoidance.
Which brings me to: The Old Spice Guy. Saw him on TV first, and only then did he make sense on Facebook.
The ubiquity of Apple? 100 showings outdoor in every relevant metro.
What’s in your wallet?
Can you hear me now?« Back to Blog