Friday, July 20th, 2012

The opt-out culture of advertising

It’s a shame, in many respects, the changes advertising has undergone in the past few decades. While the swell of information and technological advances have empowered consumers to a huge extent, advertising no longer holds the power it once used to. In fact, we’ve now gotten to a place where people pay extra to receive a version of an app or a service that is ad-free.

Last week saw the launch of a new innovation, an ad-funded internet service, which offers free broadband to customers. The catch? The more ads you agree to watch, the more data and time you’re allowed to browse the web with. It feels very much akin to a mother allowing her child an hour’s worth of TV, in exchange for 30 mins worth of chores!

The challenge for creative agencies, and indeed b2b agencies, is to help shift consumers out of this mindset. Every year, there is a selection, albeit small, of truly outstanding, humanly relevant, engaging advertising that consumers choose to watch, and will happily take time out of their day to do so. It’s not impossible, but the industry has gotten complacent, and we need to hold ourselves to higher standards.

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