June 04, 2015
We Have Fallen In Love With Ourselves
There are two reasons the advertising industry is besotted with the web
The corporate fat boys love it because it came along at exactly the right time to provide an exciting new thing to sell, just as the agency business was losing its mojo.
The rank and file love it because it is quickly becoming the most advertising and marketing-controlled medium in history.
We -- the marketing industry -- are running the web. It is the first major medium that is completely under the thumb of advertisers and marketers.
We used to have some control over TV and radio. Our advertising choices about what to support with our clients' ad dollars influenced what programmers programmed. But we never had hands-on control of the actual content.
In radio and print media the same was true. We influenced the content with our buying, but we didn't control or create the content.
Radio, tv, or print was always a medium first, and then a marketing vehicle. The web is not. The web is quickly evolving into a marketing vehicle first, and, oh yeah, it's also a communication medium.
It is impossible to do anything on the web without being assaulted by marketing or advertising.
It was possible to watch 12 minutes of uninterrupted sitcom before a spot came on. You could sometimes listen to 5 songs in a row before you heard a radio spot. But not with the web.
You can't go 30 seconds on the web without being interrupted.
I have commented previously on how the web has similarities to a super-charged Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages was a marketing gimmick masquerading as a medium. The web is becoming very much the same thing.
On the web, every move you make, every step you take, everything you watch or read is interrupted by advertising or marketing. We ad geeks love the web because we don’t just create the ads, we create the ocean they swim in. We've never before had this kind of power for our meager talents.
The web didn't start this way. But it is evolving into a non-stop, always-on marketing circus. It’s what makes it nauseating, and -- to us in the industry -- irresistible.