An opinion piece a few days ago in MediaPost's Marketing Daily poses the question: Why advertising needs to change. Cella Irvine, the writer, tells us advertising isn't what it used to be; that ads have lost much of the "pizzazz" she recalls from decades ago when we all watched the same ads on the same three broadcast networks, and we all read Life Magazine or the recently-late Newsweek.
She correctly says that advertising isn't what it used to be because it's more present in our lives, not only on TV but everywhere including in the content we view online. She talks about in-text advertising, which I think is becoming more relevant as we now get so much more of our news and information online, including reading newspapers and magazines on our computers and mobile devices. We've become accustomed to clicking through links to get more information or to go to original sourcing. So why not use that same concept to move us toward ad messages? Makes perfect sense, right?
I see two challenges here. Links that go to ad messages should, ideally, be identified as such. Otherwise, you risk annoying people who may feel they've been duped into seeing an ad. That's how I would feel, although I admit that I am not the typical consumer. I suppose there are many online viewers who wouldn't feel they've been tricked and would welcome seeing a marketing message.
The second challenge is no different from what marketers have been trying to deal with since advertising began -- how to draw the reader into the ad so they actually watch and absorb the message. (A third challenge, of course, lies in the strategy behind the message so it conveys the right information or attitude and moves the reader to take further action.)
So the bottom line is, no matter how we get people to see an ad, whether on TV, a billboard, in print or online, it must be creatively compelling enough to hold attention and strategically developed so the message is on target and motivating the individual to further action, such as clicking to purchase or to get more details, or visiting a retail outlet, or contacting a company for more information that hopefully leads to purchase.
Advertising may need to change, in terms of the media we use, but much stays the same -- compelling ads with the right messaging. I think that goes back to Advertising 101, yes?