Advertising has existed for as long as people have sought to spread ideas. It has its strict definition today – “the pastime or career of generating commercials for advertisement items or services” – but in essence, advertising is simply the distribution of ideas albeit biased ones. For essentially the most part, we use the same mediums and activities to sell the advantages of a fit body as the facets of a home generator, or video games or neighborhood events. Love, joy, peace, hate can be promoted along local facilities, shops, and specialists.
The web is a preferred place to spread ideas, but advertising can be done wherever senses are directed – podcasts, billboards, graffiti, protests, e mails, churches, baseball fields, braille. But here is the Information Age. Never in history has it taken a layperson less time or effort to summon all in their best alternatives for any choice – health, diet, dates, etc. Take lawn care, for instance. Ask a neighbor for a referral on Facebook or NextDoor. Search Google, and sift the ratings on Yelp or Google Reviews.
Submit a request to an aggregator like HomeAdvisor and allow them to find the best option for you. None of these are perfect but they all serve to gather guidance with little friction. I don’t expect advertisers to not skew their messaging to favor their product, but it’s hard to reason that, in such an informative environment, the messaging recommendations of old – grandiose claims, best of accolades – will hold up a similar. One effect of mass advice has been the emergence of a particular variety of advertising, “content”, from companies with world class brainpower and supplies. Some businesses commision writers, videographers, or other content material builders to supply pieces that help answer regular questions or address trending issues. The idea is that by publishing the coolest tips, they’ll earn the most views and become or continue to be theory of as an expert in the sector.
Advertising interrupts. Content entertains, or informs, or does something better than interrupt – found and passed on vs. force fed. That shift in focus is a nice change for those on the receiving end. Of course, content material can be malicious too. Ultimately it’s up to the reader/viewer to parent the garbage from the gold.
It helps to examine assets, etc. – every little thing we learn in the liberal arts categories. I won’t expect that “bad” advertising – borderline or outright incorrect information – will soon die away. Companies will buy it so long as they consider they can convince people to purchase or act before they’ve done their due diligence – shopping, studying, talking with others. The bigger advertisement issues, though, the ones with high “customer acquisition costs” and giant advertising budgets, will must think their messaging in the context of an ever increasing Sea of Information. Many businesses are taking warning not only to cajole but also to give a contribution with talents mined from within the ranks.
Trying to battle the Sea is hopeless and, more urgent, a bad investment.