On Advertising

There’s a lot of back-and-forth on the internet about the value of banners, the value of social, and whether or not it’s a good idea generally to advertise on the internet.

I’m not sure where we’ll all come down on this – ultimately I think we all understand the relative value of advertising and active brand participation on The Internet, to say nothing of essential digital business tools – but for me it comes down to the desirability of The Advertising Industry’s contribution to the medium.

TV ads can be awesome, culture-forming summations of our collective feelings about a company or product. They can also be terrible wastes of time that nobody sees or cares about, but that’s beside the point.

I don’t think digital advertisements – transmitted via banner inventory or through social channels – can make the same claim. Digital is good at things that TV is bad at, and vice versa. And that’s okay.

Ultimately if you’re fighting to save the banner ad or the social promotion, at best you’re going to be on the wrong side of history. In the meantime, you’re diverting resources from important (and usually under-nourished) parts of the digital business ecosystem.

TL:DR? Ads are great. They just make The Internet a shittier place.

Comments

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  1. Interesting point. In terms of the contribution of advertisers, the most memorable and defining moments at this stage do seem to all come from TV (does anyone remember an awesome banner ad from 5 years ago for example?). As for internet advertising in general; sure it can be annoying as a user, but as a business owner, if done well it can be a huge traffic-driver at far less cost than traditional mediums. Would be interested to know what parts of digital advertising you feel are under-nourished…