One of the things that surprised me most about the much-hyped consumer-generated ads during the past Super Bowl was just how subtle they were and how naturally they fit into the entire mix of 30-second television spots. To be sure, the consumer-generated ads were not purely consumer-generated, nor organically or independently spawned. But the truth remains: For most viewers, the ads, whose creation was heavily driven by consumers, were pretty darned easy to mistake for the purely professional ones.
At the Jefferies & Company's Internet Conference, the company released its latest report on the online advertising industry, estimating that it was going to grow to over $60 billion worldwide by 2010. While that number may seem big, it wasn't too shocking for most watching the industry, since only days earlier, Piper Jaffray had released a 424-page report estimating that global online ad spending will exceed $80 billion by 2011. These are big numbers for sure, and it's natural to ask yourself, how is this possible?