May 2, 2008

Why We Hate Ads On Teh Interwebz

Filed under: Information Supernova, Marketing Philosophy — Robert John Ed @ 3:58 pm

I recently came to the conclusion that most people hate a lot of different marketing and advertising. I’m planning on writing some posts about many of those different mediums and the reason behind the hate. Little note, it’s usually warranted.

Internet advertising is not new. Banner ads have been around a long time and initially probably worked a hell of a lot better than they do now. People don’t even look at them now, CTR is abysmal. The funny thing is that this is cyclical. This isn’t exclusive to the web. DM fails. One to one fails. TV, Radio, Print, Email, Phone Calls.

I had a discussion yesterday about (gasp) social networking and advertising integration. I think FB has it right by trying to take the next step in the evolution by getting social recommendations. But it’s a long and bumpy road ahead.

The thing about advertising is that it will always fail. That’s part of the game. Online though, it seems different to us because most everything is measurable. So marketers look at advertising online and feel incredibly empowered to understand what is actually happening. We feel like this is a whole new world; and it is. Unfortunately for us, we are acting like Columbus instead of Lawrence of Arabia. (BTW the Britannica experiment is failing miserably).

The users though are completely different than the marketers. The users were exposed to eons of mindless prodcasting (Hey! New lexicon post coming) where they couldn’t stop the marketing. Commercials were just part of the deal. Now with interactive, they are navigating their experience instead of sitting through a prodcast. That new control creates a sense of ownership to their environment. No, they don’t want to see your banners, whether they are designed for a click or as a display. No they don’t want to wait 10 seconds while your sponsorship says something to them. No, just no.

However, this doesn’t mean that the web isn’t a valid place to market a company. Billions are spent ecommerce. My favorite store is online. And what’s more, we have the chance to truly change things for the better online. We can automate processes and assist consumers like never before. We can track things better than ever before. But we have to be open altering our processes for the good.

And the marketers all along are affronted that they can’t manipulate the space in a similar manner as they did with other mediums. The power of the crowd will eventually be able to drown out ads. Firefox is a great example. It blocks pop up ads all the time. Pop ups used to be the scourge of the internet, but an open source platform made it all but history. We have to understand that this is not our village to plunder. It’s a community that we must work within to be respected. It will be based on civilized discussion and conversation that builds brands over time. Respecting the intelligence of the users will be paramount to success. Users can tell when they are being sold. They know what blogspam is. They aren’t afraid to call you out on it either.

Altering your practices today to be conducive to this new environment could prove a watershed moment within your organization. Mark my words, the interactive space will eventually overtake all other space and become prevalent throughout our entire existence. And it’s a good thing.



  1. Teh interwebz, just like all other media, is only a successful marketing outlet if it provides engaging content. And it is probably MORE valuable because it’s one of the easiest ways to get a consumer engaged–at least, initially.

    PS: I came across this website today (via the and I am enjoying it greatly. (Just what I need: another website to distract me. Well, any blog interested in the life of Pascal (!) is probably more worthy of my attention than lolcats or failblogs. It just takes longer to read.)

    Comment by postadvertina/sleeping in my party dress — June 24, 2008 @ 8:19 pm

  2. Thanks for stopping by! Glad you dig it.

    Comment by Robert John Ed — June 24, 2008 @ 8:29 pm

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