It’s not just sports. You can’t open up a web page without some sort of pop-up cluttering the screen. The Sunday paper is another great example of horrible intrusions. The Washington Post TV guide includes this wretched tabbed insert that sticks out and interferes with using the thing. My guess is that most people – like me – rip it out and throw it away. The comics and supplements bag is full of forgettable inserts.
Ok, so we all know advertising is everywhere. What’s my point?
My point is that it seems like there is so much advertising in so many places that agencies (who should know better), marketers (who should know better) and advertisers (who may or may not know better) try to overcome the numbing effect of the plethora of messages that bombard us by using even more messages. In more new and different ways. Read the advertising trades and you’re always coming across a story about how someone has developed some new medium – a new way to put ads on a grocery cart, a different kind of Internet intrusion or a new way to put a sticker on the front page of a publication.
As often as not, for some inexplicable reason, these stories are accompanied by great cheers and high-fives all around. As if creating more clutter was some kind of accomplishment.
But it’s like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. Responding to the mountains of advertising crap by adding more mountains of advertising crap.
Speaking of media advertising alone (defining "media" loosely and setting aside just for the moment a discussion of new, innovative and effective approaches to marketing and marketing communications) it seems to me like it would be a whole lot better and a ton more cost-efficient to simply work harder to do better advertising. More engaging, entertaining, informative and rewarding bits of creative. Invest a little more time and money into the work and give it the air to stand out in an overcrowded competitive arena. If you’re going to do media advertising, do it well. Don’t waste your money.
This all applies to individual advertisers as well as advertisers in general. For example, there is an institution here in
In the right hands, creativity can be a pretty damn practical, cost-efficient business tool.
We – and I count myself as part of the general public here – don’t want to see more of the stuff. We want to see better stuff.