Advertising is Dead

A sensational headline? Maybe so, but advertising as we know it is going to change in a very big way because of new advances in technology. If you have read my book “First, Best, or Different” or you frequent my blog, you know that I am very critical of the current advertising model, since I consider it largely ineffective and grossly overpriced.

The current advertising model is mass media based and delivers messages through print ads, television and radio commercials, and recently the internet. The ads presume that all customers will want what the sponsor has, will understand the ad, and will respond to the call for action. These ads use a “spray and pray” methodology that is based on the assumption that, if you spend enough money and contact the customer a gazillion times, the prospective buyer will eventually get the message and buy the product.

This is, of course, absurd. The customer today has grown totally numb to all of these messages and does not want one-size-fits-all products anyway. Instead, the customer wants the product in a special size, color, configuration, and shape; it must be unique, if not custom. It must be delivered at a special time with special packaging. Mass marketing is so yesterday.

Now enters IPTV (Internet Protocol Television). Perhaps the simplest definition of IPTV would be television content, that instead of being delivered through traditional formats and wiring, is received by the viewer through the technologies used for computer networks. You will get this new content through cable, the telephone line, and satellite. Coming to your plasma TV soon, this new content will allow you to watch exactly want you want when you want to watch it (remember, 99% of the current TV content is prerecorded anyway).

This new delivery mechanism will create a new industry of “mini-producers” who will create very specific content for special people like you. You will be able to get content as specific as a golf talk show for left handed duffers living in Orange County, California who want to hook up with opposite sex golfers for fun and frolic. No smokers please. I am not kidding.

Since all of this new content will use the newest technologies, the viewer will leave tracks or digital fingerprints allowing the advertisers to perfectly pinpoint their messages to exactly the right customer: you.

Alas, the advertising industry will be saved!