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Would You Subscribe to Advertising-Only Content?

I think most people would answer this question straight up with a smirk and a disgusted "Never!" Advertising does have a bit of a negative connotation with most people, but I think that is largely because most advertising is unimaginative, uninteresting, and lacks any entertainment value. It's too predictable, too boring, too arrogant.... Let's face it, most advertising sucks.

On the other hand, people will tune in by the millions to watch the Super Bowl, many of them having as their main motivation—that's right, my friends—they want to watch the ads. The game is just filler and is usually as boring as most ads are the rest of the year.

Here's what I see in the future. Companies will spend less of their budgets on media placement for their advertising. Technology (mostly digital) will allow them to discreetly target their audience and allow them to waste less money on broad-casting their message. Broadcasting has moved to narrow-casting, then it will move to niche-casting and on to nano-casting. As the media becomes more precise, smart companies will move marketing dollars from media budgets to message budgets. The important component will become (as it perhaps always should have been) the message.

Compelling telling and creative presentation will rule. While educators are telling us that we need to improve our math and science programs to compete, those left-brained jobs are moving to India and points beyond. The emerging intelligentsia in the US will be those friggin’ weirdo right-brainers.  Yep, the Napoleon Dynamite Fan Club is taking over.

Successful ads of the future will be sought out and downloaded by consumers because, for a variety of reasons, they're great ads. CLIO awards will mean nothing. Media budgets will mean little more. “Advertising push” will become a stale phrase. “Ad pull” (redefined as consumers seeking and pulling your ads via various digital channels) will be a measure of success all advertisers will seek. 

The digital bullet has mortally wounded intrusive advertising that costs millions of media dollars to sustain. Would you rather pay millions to talk to disinterested people about your product, or would you rather have millions subscribe to your advertising because it is so stinking good? 

At that point, it's all about conversions.

But that's another blog for another day.

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