June 16, 2015

The 25 Billion Dollar Delusion


How can it be that $25 billion in media billings has gone into review this year? It is astounding and unprecedented. But I have a theory...

What if there was a new type of gasoline? And what if this gasoline suddenly allowed a car to go 70 miles per gallon instead of 26 miles per gallon?

Everyone would want to try this gasoline.

But what if, when people tried it, their cars still got 26 mpg, or even worse, they went down to 24 mpg?

What would people do?

I think I know what they'd do. They'd assume there was something wrong with the variant of the miraculous new gasoline they were getting at their gas station, and they'd try a new gas station to get the proper version of the new gas.

But what if the new gas was not a miracle at all? What if all the talk was wrong and the gas was not only not magic, it was actually no better or even worse than the old-fashioned gas?

I have a feeling that's what's going on in the advertising business.

Clients have been reading and hearing for years about the miracle of online advertising. But the miracle is not paying off for them. From all the idle chit-chat they hear and read, they think it's paying off for everyone but them.

"How come it's not working for us?"

"We need to find a new gas station and get the proper version of this gasoline."

And, just maybe, that's how we wind up with an astonishing $25 billion in media billings currently in review.


9 comments:

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Jim said...

You've got a point there.

Cecil B. DeMille said...

Online has its problems, but maybe we should think about the lack of creativity in today's holding company accountingpalooza, where numbers masquerade as ideas, warm bodies double as creatives, and committees replace actual creative directors. I've had actual good ideas for online ads. Really. And they've been fed to the committee and died horrible, nagging, know-nothing accountingpalooza deaths at the hands of people whose only creation is bullshit.

geoff said...

Slow Clap.

Alec Painter said...

Just out of curiosity really, does anyone know how much media gets put up for review every year?

luisgdelafuente said...

Perhaps the traditional online marketing model based on 'silos' is falling down. Instead, real added value activities will replace it eg contents + distribution + conversion in a single offering.
'Branding' has no real meaning for 99,99% of the businesses. Its means value just for the really big players.

Doug Garnett said...

Just watched a video from Forbes.com about "programmatic" after reading this blog post. About the video...yikes. Heavy handed tech smoke and mirrors trying to give the impression that programmatic is something "important".


Except, we've been there and done that. And it's delivering $24 of value...at the most. (Actually, I think $24 is far too kind to digital.)

Danny Blanco said...

Now the mobile marketing and advertising started big, when google announced that it will use it as a standard for its search engine.

Anyone, who have anything related to advertising, start to bubble around this phenomenon that happens only once every millennial generation, I mean each couple of years

Hal Thomas said...

Perhaps, in some cases, it's not the gas; the car is a junker. But good luck getting anyone to admit that they have a crap product.