Advertisers Throw Big Money at Disappearing Eyeballs

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by: Josh Hawkins

USA Today has a good article that provides an ominous backdrop to this week's Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

"Technology — from wireless devices to iPods to digital video recorders (DVRs), have given time-pressed consumers more choices and control over what they tune in or tune out — and also split the audience into narrower slices. Advertisers raised spending 10% to $140 billion last year, according TNS Media Intelligence, to put more ads in more places, but that onslaught may just be turning all marketing messages into white noise."

According to the article, the average consumer is bombarded with 3,500 to 5,000 marketing messages per day! (This is up from 500 to 2,000 in the 1970s). The result for marketers has been a stampede towards branded entertainment, customer referral programs, and targeting of "influentials" within vertical industries or consumer segments. But, noise is noise. In this context, winning campaigns will be anchored in the co-creation of brand experiences with customers, and harnessing the power of consumer generated media. This stands quite the opposite of the current interruptive advertising mindset, which is committed to giant budgets and tactics that push "official brand messaging" through increasingly narrow channels.

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