As you might imagine, these Ed:Blog things are typically written at the last moment, after the rest of the content in the magazine is done, and I suppose they're intended to reflect on what the issue is about, and why you should care about reading it. The emergence of a marketplace built around new technologies helping consumers save and re-distribute advertising was, at first, a little surprising to me. But after thinking about it, I realized it was a natural progression for the industry. Much of our focus has been on what people don't want to do - the negative consequences of digital technologies giving consumers control to "zap" advertising. That focus assumes that people hate ads, and simply want to avoid them. But we all know that's not true. We simply want to avoid ads that are not relevant to us. As Scott Kurnit points out in this issue, the media industry in general, and Madison Avenue in particular, are a bunch of self-loathers, focusing on the downside of advertising experiences. But the truth is that ads are just another form of content - stories and experiences - that when they come together in the right way, inform or delight people.
One of the first things I was involved with when I joined MediaPost nearly eight years ago, was a study we conducted with Insight Express asking people how they used their DVRs in connection with advertising. We asked them whether they used the technology to pause, replay, and yes, even save ads with their DVRs. Interestingly, quite a few said they did, even though that would have seemed a universally unpopular response to give.
People save ads all the time. They may or may not store them on their hard drives or on a server, but they do clip offers out of print media, they watch classic commercials or funny viral video spots on YouTube, and they even forward them in tweets and emails, or post them on their Facebook walls. And even when they're not using analogue or digital technologies, they are saving the important, relevant and entertaining ones in the most important medium of all, their memories.
Joe Mandese, Editor-in-Chief