The true power of advertising is both indisputable and disputable. On one hand, advertising plays a critical role in introducing, familiarizing, and creating affinity for products and services. In this way, advertising is a catalyst for tremendous economic activity. On the other hand, the adage that 50% of advertising spend is wasted — we just can’t tell which 50% — is still a cautionary tale of significant costs with unclear return.
Today, ads are more likely an interruption platform across TV, radio, digital, and mobile. An ad-free environment is a value that consumers are willing to pay for, ad blocking is a right that consumers are increasingly exercising, and virtually every type of media enables consumers to skip ads, which further erodes the value of advertising. Time shifting is a standard consumer practice that is designed to avoid ads.
One may think that the end is near; advertising spend simply can’t withstand these headwinds. But brands still have a fundamental desire to build relationships with consumers — and 56% of consumers seek out deeper connections with brands that matter to them.
The reality is that advertising is not dying, but advertising as we now know it will meet its end. We have stayed with the interruption platform because, frankly, we could never answer the question: “If not advertising, then what?” Until now.
The answer to this essential question is twofold: the emergence of personalized digital experiences that reflect a brand’s ambition to create value and build intelligent, conversational relationships, and the consumer’s desire to gain information and options and build connections with brands that they value.
In this episode, Analysts James McQuivey and Keith Johnston provide a window into the disruptive force of digital experiences and how those experiences will remake advertising and recast the relationship between brands and consumers.