Thursday, March 27, 2014

Advertisers Bemoan The Broken System They Created

Dig just a tad deeper into AdAge's fluffy commentary on a "Day of Reckoning" for sports leagues and their broadcast partners and the story it tells about adland and its clientele is not a happy one.  The CliffNotes version is a group of bewildered advertisers publicly threatening sports leagues with their diminished returns from choosing live sports and its ever-skyrocketing costs as their preferred medium of communication.  But this is truly the equivalent of the addict threatening his dealer.

Thus far, broadcasters haven't had too much of a problem finding an advertiser to pay what they tell them to for a television spot during live sporting events.  Obviously, advertisers' eager willingness to pay whatever it costs to talk to the always dependable sports viewer is the very reason for the ever-escalating premium. Perhaps if advertisers' had the courage to say no to broadcasters, then they wouldn't overpay for the right to pass on the cost to their willing client.  Until that starts happens, they're will be no day of reckoning.  

However, the crux of this problem is the product itself; no one wakes up each morning hoping to have their attention interrupted by another irrelevant advertisement.  So, not surprisingly, the ability to zap through any and all annoying interruptions to one's television consumption is, depending on who you ask, either the most wonderful thing ever or a serious threat to a once cozy ecosystem that was maintained by large captive audiences.     

Interestingly, the article in AdAge covers the symptoms of the problem but never comes close to diagnosing the disease or finding its cure.  The author, who is simply reporting on the panel discussion, suggests that advertisers might find better bargains with digital and social mediums - both places that are attracting more eyeballs than ever.

This is flat out wrong however.  The medium cannot dictate whether an audience is captive one; rather it's the work of a marketer to connect in a meaningful way with those who choose to listen them. 

It's never been good policy to simply hijack the attention of your audience. 

As always, thank you for reading and for sharing.

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