Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Intrusive Versus Non-Intrusive Advertising

According to marketers, there are many different types of advertising – radio, TV, print, banner ads, outdoor, etc.

But in the eyes of consumers, there are only two types of advertising – intrusive and non-intrusive.

Intrusive advertising is that which interrupts something that we are currently enjoying or are about to enjoy. TV commercials qualify as intrusive advertising. As does pre-roll advertising.

Intrusive advertising also attempts to take the element of control out of the hands of the viewer. For example, you can’t fast-forward through a pre-roll commercial.

Intrusive advertising’s attitude is that our product is so damn interesting, I’m going to interrupt what you’re doing and make you watch this commercial.

Non-intrusive advertising lets the viewer/reader/listener decide if they want to find out more about a product by clicking in to the ad and/or commercial.

Currently, both intrusive and non-intrusive advertising is sold the same way, through impressions. The difference is that we can tell when someone is paying attention to a non-intrusive advertisement. After all, they have to click-in to access it.

The reason that there remains more intrusive advertising then non-intrusive advertising is because the numbers are larger. Exposures will always be easier to buy then engagement. But that is a spacious argument. Why? Simply because the “worth” of the two forms are measured in very different ways.

Intrusive advertising is about how many. Non-intrusive advertising is about how long. When a marketer begins to add up the amount of viewers’ time captured with non-intrusive advertising, they begin to see a new sort of "scale" start to develop.

Getting a hundred thousand viewers to each spend 60 seconds with their 60-second spot, adds up to 6 million seconds of time spent with the brand. Six million seconds translates to 69 days of time spent with the brand.

When a marketer buys a $5 million, intrusive TV buy, they will know exactly how many impressions that buy will deliver. But they will have no idea how much time was actually spent with the brand.

When a marketer buys a $5 million, non-intrusive video buy, they will not only know the number of impressions, but they will also know how much time spent with the brand that $5 million actually bought them.

Once they have the data for both impressions and time-spent, which figure do you think will be more important to the marketer? Which figure do you think will more directly correlate to sales?

Twenty million impressions versus 69 days of time spent with the brand?

Intrusive versus non-intrusive?

How many versus how long?

Decisions, decisions.

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