There seems to be an assumption among many in the ad community that somehow all the money currently being spent on TV ads will somehow effortlessly migrate to “online” eventually. And that our industry will just all morph into Crispins, Porters, and Boguskies eventually. But why should that be?
it’s forgetting that the business of creating advertising ideas exists as a by-product of something much more important: gathering a mass audience. Nobody wants to spend millions of dollars on TV advertising. Never did. They did so because the opportunity to talk to a huge chunk of the population at one time was simply irresistible to mass marketers. How could they not do it?
The internet is a completely different proposition. Unlike all previous mass media it does not have a symbiotic relationship with advertising.
But increasingly it does allow mass marketers to access a mass audience. Thank you Google. And that’s something mass marketers need. But think about the real estate the internet offers you.
You want to be front and center? Sorry. You’ve been moved to the periphery. Something that’s seen out of the corner of the eye. Maybe. You want the ability to tell your story? Hmmm…That’s going to be tough. A lot tougher than it used to be on TV. It’s still doable. But it requires A LOT more effort than it did in the past.
The internet was a boon for the sole trader. The guy who handcrafts Irish bagpipes. For him it’s been a great leveller. For mass marketers too it has been a great leveller. Only, that’s the last thing they wanted or needed. I remember ten years ago hearing the horror film director George A. Romero compare the internet to the $2 betting window at the horse racing track. He was right. That’s what it is.
So what’s the answer? There isn’t an answer anymore. There are lots of answers. Things have gotten immeasurably complicated. Deal with it. But don’t delude yourself that there’s an easy answer. Or that somehow, someone will figure it all out for you. They won’t. We all have to put on our thinking caps, unfortunately.
It makes us laugh here at The Escape Pod when we hear people, especially purported new media gurus, crowing about how the internet is the best thing to happen to advertising.
Yeah, if you’re advertising Irish bagpipes it is.