October 21, 2015

The Emperor's New Medium

Sometime in the future, business schools are going to offer a course about the first 20 years of online advertising. It is going make a wonderful story of delusion on a scale unprecedented in the history of business.

Everyone knows that online advertising is great. We just don't know what the hell it's great for.

Last week the Interactive Advertising Bureau in the US and the Internet Advertising Bureau in the UK finally admitted that banner advertising is a disaster and useless. A study in the UK confirmed what other research has revealed -- social media is mostly a waste of time.

It's just a matter of time till we get confirmation that the magical power of our other online miracles like "content" and "native" are sprung whole from the same fantasy factory as display and social.

We are living in a unique era in advertising history. What we have experienced is a truly amazing and singular series of events.

How did a form of advertising so unpopular with consumers, so ineffectual, and so corrupt become so big so fast?

If you're of a mind to write a book about marketing, culture, or mass delusion, I suggest you get started writing this story.

Call it The Emperor's New Medium.

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