Friday, March 27, 2015

Audacious idea 4: consent of advertising

This segment of audacious ideas considers advertising paradigms.

Traditionally, advertising has amounted to a sort of non-consensual, non-negotiable exchange of media for enduring advertisement.  Typified by television as the medium.  As media has diversified into digital realms, advertising has since transformed in line with the ever evolving economic landscape of the net.

I can tell you that companies not yet adjusted to this model are struggling.  Getting trapped in vendor jail with your competitors, oftentimes you will be paying a lot of money preparing to sell beauty-pageant style.  And the prettiest girl almost always wins (the lowest price).

Only now, the girls aren't just  Virginian, blonde, and dumb as a post.  In this new landscape the diversity of competition is compounded with the availability and accessibility the internet provides.
Those that fail to beat their competitors to the pageant may lose to companies outsourcing to cut price, possibly losing sales to an inferior product or brand.

Which brings me to my idea: restructuring advertising as a feedback loop between customers and vendors.  In particular, as it relates to consent.

But why, Ben? Can't we just keep raping people's ears with jingles and penetrating their eyeballs with EXTREME Mountain Dew commercials?  It works, doesn't it?

The answer is NO, it does not work, at least not to the same degree as new media.  Consider this analogy:

There's a terrorist who had taken shelter in a small village, using civilians as de facto human shields.  As a commander, will you choose to firebomb the village? Turn it into a drone-mediated crater-memorial?  Or will you send a team of seals. Or a space laser, beamed onto this terrorist's brainstem?

The answer seems obvious, but adoption of this type of focus has lagged behind technological and social advancement.  Precision targeting is the new doctrine of advertising.

Because I can't afford a Lexus, why the hell would I ever want to see a commercial for them? Or for Vagisil?  Is it really germane to my life, knowing the absorption of a particular pad is TEN TIMES BETTER than a leading brand? No. And enduring these adds actually damages the credibility of the medium, as well as the  brand in question.  Anyone who has endured advertisements can tell you, it's fucking annoying to have to watch them if they aren't relevant to you.  The fact that I know "Zoom Zoom" has actually solidified my conviction of never buying a Mazda.

The new paradigm isn't just about consent either - it's about real-time feedback.  Instead of cock-to-back-of-throat style forced advertising, allow the consumer to choose from a list of relevant ad fields.  The choice will empower the consumer and build trust and credibility, the only measure aside from price by which one can compete in a globalized  digital market.

In addition, targeting comes into play. Are you really going to run Bowflex ads between Matlock or Gilmore Girls?  My grandma will be ripped for beach season.

Targeting is already in play, championed by the likes of
Google and Facebook, which intelligently categorize your ads based on precious search behaviour.  The algorithm is evolutionary - and as such - perpetually changing in real time.  However, this stratagem is still flawed because it is far removed from consent, or even informed non-consent; as evidenced in facebook's shady privacy policies - which seem to change with every year toward "we own your ass, bitch."

So the consent is still not there, and again, credibility gets damaged.  Seduction is a tricky thing, and it is especially challenging when your target is  aware of your intentions.  However, when the target chooses their seducer, the challenge evaporates.  Trust is implicit.

The real advantage of consensual advertising is it's efficient - companies will see a huge ROI and very little credibility risk - this giving stock prices advantageous long-term stability.

Thus concludes audacious idea 4: consensual advertising.

Let's start building corporate trust, starting with non rape-like ads.

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