December 04, 2013

Delighting In Digital Dumbness

If you have a healthy sense of the absurd, there is great joy to be found in the dumbness of some digital mediacrats.

Last week in this space there appeared a post called Astounding News From Moronsville. The post was about a digital media agency that created an infographic asserting that ads that were "viewable" were more effective than ads that were "non-viewable." I guess you have to be a Certified Digital Media Professional to figure that shit out.

My post was less than complimentary about the nitwits that propagated this stunning wisdom.

Amazingly, some digital media honchos got all huffy about my post. They wrote nasty emails and tweets. I was accused of singling digital media people out for scorn -- which, of course, I did. An article referencing my stupidity even appeared yesterday in Digiday.

In a remarkable torturing of logic, they asserted that since there is waste in traditional advertising, there is nothing absurd about creating a chart showing that online ads that can be seen get more clicks than ads that cannot be seen. 

These people are so insulated and engulfed in the arcane minutiae of their narrow little discipline that they can't see the monumental ridiculousness in asserting that things that can be seen are more effective than things that can't. In their bizarre world, this is an insight.

First, let me state the obvious. I've known some brilliant, talented media people, both traditional and digital. Okay, everyone got that?

I've also known a lot of dumb-ass media people. Let's face it, a media agency isn't exactly the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Now, here's the difference between traditional media people and digital media people.

I've known some really dumb traditional media people. But I've never known one so fucking dumb that he would write...
"If an ad is in view, your audience is more likely to act upon it."
That takes a wonderful, extraordinary kind of dumbness. It takes a transcendent dumbness. It takes a dumbness that charms, and thrills, and makes you think that maybe life really is just a bowl of fucking cherries.

It takes more than traditional dumbness. It takes cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, up-to-the-minute, undiluted, artisanally curated digital dumbness.


  1. Yawn. Sounds like someone saw a decent spike in their blog traffic so are beating the proverbial dead horse.

  2. No way! Someone said something dumb on the internet!

  3. You might want to do one of those nifty Internet polls to find out whether people who have read this are more likely to share it than people who haven't. I'm just saying.

  4. I think the bigger point is that metrics are killing the ad business. Now our clients have proof that no one pays attention to most of what we do, be it digital, print or broadcast. Don't you think we should stop fighting about which medium is better? The clients are listening.

  5. George, I think this is Rocket!

  6. They also make the point in the article you link to that digital ad buys are increasing. Sure, part of that is because that`s where the audience is going, but there`s also the snake oil merchants that overhype it to ignorant clients afraid of being `left behind`

  7. Guy Who Finds Rocket DoucheyDecember 4, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Rocket is so delusional, he actually thinks his job in digital media is IN a jet propulsion laboratory -- thus the moniker.

  8. Yeah, Rocket, why don't you make an infographic about this?

  9. I'm still not getting it. How dumb?
    I think I need to create an infographic on this.

  10. Bob, I'm your biggest fan. Really. I look at everything related to the internet with skepticism and, usually more so, disdain. So once again I delighted in your takedown of the digerati. Until I clicked through to the infographic. Yes, the "in view / act on" statement is dumbly obvious in and of itself, but in context it simply builds the case for paying better attention to your online media buy: Get your banners to load quickly, above the fold, and more people will see them, increasing the chance they act. The "non-viewable" ads ARE running; they're just in places most site/page visitors don't get around to looking at (just like a magazine ad on page 77); SOME visitors, though, are scrolling down and that's why those "non-viewable" ads get some clicks. Of course, I agree with you that all these numbers ultimately are pittances, and makes banners a very hard spend to justify, especially with all the real fraud going on. But, c'mon, you really cherry-picked this one ...