Monday, November 03, 2008

Access Of Evil

An interesting article ran recently in Ad Age regarding the dilemma over intrusive advertising. The big question on everyone’s mind seems to be how many intrusive ads are too many before viewers start revolting?

It’s a bit of rhetorical question really, as everyone already knows what the answer is.

One.

But perhaps of even greater concern is that isn't it the wrong question to ask?

Isn't the question the industry should be asking is how can they make money on non-intrusive advertising? The fact is people don’t dislike advertising. What people dislike is the way that advertising is currently marketed to them. Or, should I say, forced on them.

The traditional business model for television was to deliver viewers to advertisers. This made sense. As the advertiser was in control the networks answered to the advertisers’ bidding. But as control has now shifted to the viewer, so to must the business model.

Which means that the role of television today is to serve its new masters.

Instead of trying to figure out how best to deliver viewers to advertisers, the networks should be trying to figure out how best to deliver advertisers to viewers.

And, to do so on the viewers’ terms.

The TV of tomorrow will need to learn how to morph into a search business model. To put it simply, it needs go through a mindchange that allows it to become a tool of access, rather than of distribution.

Whether TV becomes an access of evil or an access of good depends completely on how much control the advertiser is willing to let the viewer have.

TV in the past was successful because it was able to monetize the wishes of those that were in control. The same formula will work in the future.

If advertisers ever accept that they're no longer the ones calling the shots.

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