June 28, 2010

Just Wait, You'll See

Here at Ad Contrarian World Headquarters, we've been at war with the "new age" advertising crowd for almost 3 years now.

They still can't understand the distinction between the popularity of the web and the dismal record of web advertising. They think that because the internet has become pervasive, internet advertising must be similarly powerful.

They are wrong.

We all learned to ignore banner ads 10 years ago. Today, a click-through rate of 2 in thousand is considered very successful. Online video accounts for a ridiculously small 1% of video watched. Podcasts are a joke, and social media is more PR and customer relations than it is advertising.

Additionally, the more these people shout about the death of television, the more TV viewership grows and the more facts pile up to prove them wrong.

Every time some pain-in-the-ass like me points out to them that the facts are against them, they always have the same answer...

"Just wait, you'll see."

Well, I don't know about you but I've been waiting almost 10 years now and I still don't see anything very impressive.

I see plenty of hustlers making a nice living off the naivete of gullible marketers. I see plenty of chatter and plenty of hysteria about the glories of social media, but I'm still waiting for just one non-web-based mainstream brand to be built primarily through web advertising. Just one.

Nowhere has the story of the death of traditional advertising/ascendancy of web advertising been more mindlessly reported and repeated than in the ad trade press. The "digital changes everything" narrative has become so pervasive that to even dare to question it is to be deemed some kind of oddball, fool, or Luddite.

Then all of a sudden, last week, Ad Age had an article entitled Increased Advertiser Interest Signals Resurgence of Big TV.  

In one of the most mammoth "duhs" in recent advertising history, Ad Age seems to have discovered what everyone who's been paying attention (or reading this fascinating blog) has known for a long time...
"...as marketers examine all sorts of new-media options, they may be finding that TV is a better buy for the money."
No shit? How long have we been saying that? And, by the way, so is radio, and so is outdoor, and so is just about any other medium you can think of.

My favorite line of the article is the sub-head.
Impressive Upfront Numbers Suggest Marketers Agree That -- for Now -- Medium Offers Most Bang for Buck.
 " -- for Now --."  You know what that little "-- for Now --" phrase means, right?

"Just wait, you'll see."

Summer Schedule...
It's summer and I need a break from being cranky all the time. I'm going to be posting less frequently, and re-posting some old but still semi-brilliant pieces from time to time.

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