Ads are a funny thing: Everyone says they hate them, yet everyone responds to at least some of them, whether they realize it or not. The ability to build a brand is 100% dependent on advertising, and the future of advertising has never been as foggy as it is right now.
The two largest channels for advertising are, of course, digital and television. In the online world the debate rages around ad blocking, while in television the debate rages around ad skipping. However, both media are still growing and both are being monetized by an increase in ad spend year over year. How does this happen, and what’s the disconnect between the business and the consumer sides of the coin?
The disconnect is in the realization that what we deem advertising is going to change. Advertising has been about disrupting the experience of the media and inserting a message distinct from the programming. Media professionals tried their best to insert a message that would align with an audience, but the understanding of the audience was an educated guess, as best. There was inherent waste, and the message was lost on a portion of the audience.
The future of advertising is one of a complementary insertion that's less disruptive, more in alignment with the needs and wants of the audience. This targeting and insertion can be accomplished through data, but the heaviest weight of the interaction relies on the creative. That’s what we have to fix ASAP.
It’s actually easy to identify the audience and deliver a personalized message across lots of different media types. Online and mobile are addressable, and TV is headed towards being addressable. The challenge for these three media channels is how to deliver a message that is clearly separate from the desired content, yet still aligned with the audience.
How to complement the content rather than disrupt it? To do this requires that a different set of data be integrated into the delivery: data detailing the context and content. If you know whom you’re speaking to, you know what their motivations are, and you also know the context where the message is going to be delivered, you can tailor the message to be more complementary than disruptive.
For example, an auto manufacturer that develops multiple campaign themes could not only understand the audience, but where the message will be delivered. Family-oriented programming would necessitate the safety-themed ads. Dramatic programming or news would necessitate the feature-themed ads. Action and adventure programming would dictate the delivery of the high-speed-chase-themed creative.
Different types of messages not only speak to the different elements of your audience, but they also speak to a different type of complementary content location. It’s just like it is in real estate: location, location, location.
What are some of the interesting ways you’re seeing content factor into the future of advertising? Where do you think advertising should go in order to be truly loved?