Our minds on media.

Musings on the effects of media on cognition.

When Advertising Strikes

The shock! The vehemence! The vigorous impetuosity! A person from a company I like a lot just revealed to his followers that he will be experimenting with putting advertising into his software. Read the comments on the page. Wow! I’m not quite sure I could get so passionate if Brent Simmons did the same with NewNewsWire but depending on how it was accomplished I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself grumbling and moving on to another piece of software. But the whole conversation among the blog hermits about how much they reviled advertising and would in fact, be happy to pay for upgrades rather have to look at advertising made me realize, advertising got spoiled somewhere in the 80s.

Seriously, advertising, you’re, like, everywhere. I myself even engaged in a bit of billboard liberation when a Comedy Central (my favorite channel, btw) ad started talking to me at the urinal. Something snapped and I dug the electronic voice box out of the ad and through it in the toilet. Enough! Advertising jumps around in banner ads more than a five-year-old after a 20oz coke. And I really think that’s largely due to the fact that ads are just a fading fad. When the whole world’s information is at folks fingertips and you’re trying to get a message to them, what’s the use in irritating them?

It strikes me that advertising got spoiled during the good ol’ days of linear media where every fifteen minutes on the (free) radio or the free (television) it got to yack at us. But when media goes nonlinear like the web, you just can’t afford to be that obnoxious. Advertising needs to get its class back, like The Deck or like BMW films. Class, advertising! Class! You can talk to people without shouting, you can persuade people without lying. But in the long run, business is still going to have to get back to basics and start trafficking in real information; not shinola.

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