In a former life I executed a study to understand people that claimed to hate advertising. It was an interesting research project and I wasn't sure what to expect, but we did find that to avoid ads these people either used technology or just went off the grid (i.e. didn't watch TV, etc.).
As advertising professionals we often forget that there are people that hate what we do, and even if the majority of people don't hate it, they wouldn't go out of their way to watch our ads if our ads didn't interrupt what they were doing.
A few principles came out of this study that are worth thinking about:
- Courtesy: it is important to understand that we want consumers' attention, but they aren't required to give it to us
- Control: the age of interruption might not be over with yet, but it is getting close. Consumers have control and want it more and more
- Creativity: entertaining and clever ads are recognized for their efforts
- Content: in exchange for their time, consumers desire something in return, whether it be new content, free stuff or something else, they want a value exchange
"I started this site in 1997 because the advertising industry thinks we're stupid. Commercials assume the worst about us. Commercials use ugly stereotypes to appeal to the lowest common denominator. That's nasty and insulting."Those are some harsh, but sobering words that we all need to take to heart. What do you all think?