one of the biggest mistakes ad agencies make when creating online thingies is that they treat the internet like it’s dependent on advertising for its existence. like all the other media we deal with. TV, magazines, etc.
and it’s not. it doesn’t need us at all. sure the medium itself has been exploited for advertising purposes (google) but that doesn’t mean they need us. the most effective ad model is barely-there text ads that might actually be relevant to the reader. sotto voce text ads are just a faint whisper in traditional advertising terms. they are an acknowledgment that advertising DOESN’T REALLY BELONG there. and that’s what really works on the web. based on the success of google that is.
contrast that then with the traditional media posture: shouting at people because we know we pretty much have their attention because we paid for it. those were the days!
so i’m always a bit mystified when i hear advertising people crowing about how the internet is the best thing that ever happened to advertising. Perhaps it’s the adman’s innate optimism, but the internet is very clearly isn’t the best thing to happen to advertising. they forget that we have existed purely to take advantage of an audience that is handed to us on a plate by the media owners. and are therefore ill-equipped to suddenly start earning our audience. that muscle is not well-developed. and couldn’t be.
(full disclosure: advertising earning its audience is one of the escape pod’s pet obsessions. so excuse me if i somehow wrap up every post with it ;-)