June 05, 2018

Advertising's Edifice Of Nonsense

There is evidence all around us that advertising is in a downward spiral, characterized by...
  • Consumer disgust with advertising
  • Loss of confidence in agencies
  • Massive confusion by brands about how and where to advertise
  • Widespread belief that advertising has become less effective
  • Uncontrolled fraud and corruption
One of the reasons for this nosedive is that the ad industry is in a cycle of stupidity that it can't seem to extricate itself from.

The longer the silly fantasies of online advertising go unchallenged, the more entrenched they become. The more entrenched they become, the more they seem axiomatic. The more they seem axiomatic, the less willing people are to challenge them. The less people are willing to challenge the childish nonsense that marketers have to come to accept as fundamental to their strategies, the further the ad industry will deteriorate.

Here is some of the foolishness that brands have come to believe, and that few are willing to challenge...
  • Consumers want to "join the conversation" about brands, and co-create with brands, and become brand ambassadors by sharing their enthusiasm for brands
  • Consumers are smitten with "brand love"
  • "Personalized" advertising (meaning advertising delivered by ad tech) is more "relevant" and therefore more effective
  • More credibility is given to dubious "research" that supports these fantasies than is given to  actual facts
So let's have a look at some down-to-earth reality, which I have stolen from a previous post, and see how it aligns with the platitudes of online advertising.

First, I want you to think about your refrigerator. Think about all the stuff that's in there: The cheese, the juice, the jelly, the butter, the beer, the soda, the mayonnaise, the bacon, the mustard...

Now think about your pantry and cabinets. The cereals, the beans, the napkins, the flour, the detergent, the sugar, the rice, the bleach, the paper towels...

Next your medicine cabinet. The toothpaste, the pain relievers, the shampoo, the soap, the band-aids, the deodorant, the cosmetics...

Now your closet and dresser. Your socks, your underwear, your shirts, your pajamas, your swim suit, your t-shirts, your sweaters, your jeans, your sneakers...

Now your garage. The battery, the tires, the wiper blades, motor oil, gasoline, the air filter, the muffler...

Now answer these questions:

    •    Do you “share branded content" about any of this stuff?
    •    Do you feel "personally engaged" with these brands?
    •    Do you "join the conversation" about any of this stuff?
    •    Do you ever "co-create" with any of these brands?
    •    Do you feel like you are part of these brands' "tribes" or "communities?"

Now answer this: If you don't, why in the fucking world do you believe anyone else does?

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