The Death Of Advertising As We Knew It

“The Advertising Industry has tried to communicate with someone lying on a couch half asleep for a long time now. Finally this person has woken up.”

Johan Tesch – The Death Of Advertising As We Know It

Words can’t express how many times I’ve read, and reread this quote. I found it while writing my dissertation a couple of years ago on ‘What Will Advertising Be Like In Five Years Time. Yeah yeah, I know it’s not from Shakespeare, or from a novelist, or from a political thinker, or from Snookie, or from some hipper-than-you television series, or from whatever you think I should be reading, but it’s something I, as a creative, will always remember.

Advertising has changed immensely over the past decade. There are more ways to advertise than print, radio, or T.V. These three are no longer the be all and end all. The internet brought a whole heap of options, possibilities and opportunities to any advertiser with an idea on how the public spent their time. The internet was new a decade ago, but now it’s is relied upon way more than it should be. With this newly established reliability came a change; last year, more money was spent on digital marketing, than was spent on TV Advertising! A fact I can’t even begin to fathom. I always thought the main aim for a campaign, was to get on television, but I suppose with products like Sky+ and HDD recorders that come with the ability to skip adverts, creatives have had to aim for anything and anywhere! After all, we spend more time online than ever before, and because of this, advertising has, and will have to continue to change.

The public are aware, now more than ever, and they have the ability to absolutely destroy advertising campaigns. Look at the fallout from any poorly written, poorly made campaign available at the click of a ‘search’ button. Public who would usually complain to their friends or family, have an audience who are willing to listen, and even join in. For starters, I’ve been doing exactly that in my ‘When Advertising Goes Wrong’ posts. So far I’ve touched on Andrex, Kleenex, Frosties, GoCompare, and finally the new Dead Space 2 campaign. Ten years ago you wouldn’t have been able to find my complaints so easily, let alone join in and agree with me so profusely (which you better all be doing).

Luckily for advertisers, the reverse can be said too. When a campaign is done correctly, the audience can rave about it to anyone and everyone at the click of a button. The general public is in charge. They’ve “woken up” as Johan Tesch put so politely. It’s no longer down to the flick of a remote, or turning the radio off. The public have a voice. They can complain, they can praise, they can whine, and they can be entertained. All of this finally means something, because they have the ability tell the world about it, and this is vastly sharp, doubled edged sword. As creatives we have to endeavour to entertain the viewing public in the hope they will let us, and our adverts, enter their lives and take up their free time. Because for once, now more than ever, they sure as hell don’t have to.

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