Saturday, June 24, 2006

Strange death of modern advertising - feature by Maurice Saatchi in Financial Times

This week Maurice Saatchi made a fascinating confession:  “I feel as thought I am standing at the graveside of a well-loved friend called advertising”.   He describes the death of TV advertising as audiences diverted into an ever wider range of infotainment, and the fact that multi-tasking teenagers recall very little of the adverts they supposedly are exposed to on TV even if you can find them….  The result of multi-tasking with SMS, e-mail and everthing else at the same time as watching the football.


Saatchi reckons it all comes down to one word branding.  Owning a single idea like “search” = Google.   The trouble is that there are few words worth having and fierce competition for them.


And even if an agency has a great idea for a word, the industry itself is being re-shaped at tremendous speed by new media.


Most senior advertising executives have yet to get their heads around Google adsense for example, which is capable of creating customised ad content for a new page I create within 60 seconds of it being online.  Adsense goes further by pushing up or down different ads depending on how the users of that particular page on my website react.


Poor ads are removed – however much people pay for showing their content on the page – while lower paying but useful ads replace them.


The advertising space is thus being democratised, with huge implications for every brand-creator.

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