Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Advertiser Intent vs Viewer Intent

The word “intent” is getting a lot of attention these days. And, rightly so.

After all, for around ten years now, there’s been talk about control switching to the viewer. And while most advertisers give lip service to that idea, few actually practice it in the marketplace.

Hence the preponderance of pre-roll – a forced view that allows the advertiser’s intent to be implemented rather than the viewer’s.

If advertisers really believed that control had shifted to the viewer, they would allow viewers to opt-in to commercials they were interested in and skip those they weren’t interested in.

I think maybe it’s the word “control” that’s the problem. Such a powerful word. The opposite of control is lack of control. No advertiser wants that.

Which maybe explains why “intent” is getting so much fanfare these days.

Honoring the viewer’s intent is a much more acceptable way for advertisers to say that the viewer is in control. That’s because, in affect it says that the advertiser is still in control.

After all, they’re “honoring” the viewer’s intent.

Intent or control, it really doesn’t matter, does it? They’re both just words. What’s required is a change in behavior on the part of advertisers.

Intrusive advertising is an attempt to honor the advertisers intent.

Non-intrusive advertising that allows the viewer to watch or not watch, honors the viewer’s intent.

Ironically, intent is what the digital marketplace is really good at measuring. All it requires is for advertisers to allow it to be measured.

But don’t count on that happening.

After all, for an advertiser to measure intent, it would mean giving up control.

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