June 06, 2016

TV, Radio, Print: Here's A $Billion Idea For Free

Something we've talked about over the years on this blog is the surprising wimpishness of the traditional media as online advertising has kicked their ass all over the block.

Online is headed toward becoming the number one ad revenue producing medium in the next few years despite being a corrupt, ineffectual pile of shit.

And what are the traditional media doing to protect their turf? Whining and pitying themselves and watching their customers evaporate. They're pretty pathetic.

Why have they been too timid to fight back? Here's my guess.
1. They're living in a fantasy world in which they think their own online ad revenue is going to bail them out. This just ain't gonna happen.
2. They have online inventory to sell and they don't want to undermine the people they have on the street selling it. So they're jeopardizing 95% of their revenue to protect 5%.
3. They are afraid of being called "out of it." The one thing everyone in business is deathly afraid of is being perceived of as "out of it." It's a death sentence. And if you dare to tell the truth, and you don't genuflect, and you have the balls to criticize the divine gods of digital advertising, dude you just don't get it.
Perhaps worse than no balls, the traditional media also have no strategy. They sit back and watch impotently as online eats their lunch.

A couple of reports released last week give a very clear indication of what a successful strategy for them might look like. It revolves around ad blocking.

Ad blocking presents a very potent threat to online media. The more people block ads on their laptops and smart phones, the less attractive online eyeballs become and the more money will flow back to traditional media.

However, right now ad blocking is mostly just a rumor and a lot of media hype. Some facts:
The strategy for traditional media should be this. They should get together and do a big fat unbranded informational advertising campaign explaining to consumers how simple it is to rid their devices of annoying pop-ups, interstitials, page take-overs, tracking, and other obnoxious online contrivances.

They should do TV spots, radio spots, billboards, and full-page newspaper ads and include a web address for a simple one-click ad blocker download.

This would devastate the online ad industry. It would greatly expand awareness of ad blockers and drive up ad blocker usage enormously.

The chances of this happening? Zero.

Why? See 1, 2, and 3 above.

- Coming soon: The other side of the coin: How the online ad industry can protect their turf from potential disaster.

- Also, Episode 2 of "The Ad Contrarian Show" podcast is now live here. The subject: The ANA's investigation of the ad industry's media buying practices.

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