The Internet Conference Silly Season is Here

September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

While I was sitting on a panel at a conference in New York last week hob-knobbing with other Internet wizards someone forwarded me Ari Rosenberg’s Online Publishing Insider piece that starts out:

“Here we go again. Web advertising executives from companies that make money from the sale of advertising, without producing the content generating the ad impressions sold, will perch themselves on conference stages this month and tell everyone sitting below that what they are now selling is “it” – — the panacea to more effective advertising. Raise your hand if you have heard this one before?”

Ari would have had his hand up at this conference all afternoon. There was plenty of demand-side-real-time-target-audience-bidding talk going around, which is – as he points out – the new “it.”Most of it is phooey, except for one thing: it’s cheaper than the alternative.

The alternative is media planning that attempts to engage the audience. That means planning based on content, which is expensive.

Demand-side-real-time-target-audience-bidding relies on media planning inputs. It is programming. Content targeting relies on media planning discovery. Discovery is always more expensive except when it’s serendipitous, but that’s not planning.

With my own hand up I made the point at this conference that there is zero evidence the Internet has changed the way consumers respond to advertising, except that they may dislike it more. If so, it is the result of all the inputting; i.e. the innumerable advertising messages let loose online and set to “stun” or “follow.”

With the fall conference season underway, maybe “it” would be wise to listen to Ari:

“So before you take the stage or take a seat in front of a potential client, regardless of what kind of advertising solutions you sell, tone it down so your offerings can be heard as they are likely intended — as an innovative and unique complement to an overall media and marketing communication plan.

“No one has the single answer to the question of what works in advertising — nor should they ever sound like they do.” 

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