Advertising used to consist of ads in well-read print media and billboards, and commercials in cinema or a handful of free-to-air TV channels. 30 seconds on a network channel would guarantee broad exposure!

1. With the advent of Cable, this model started disintegrating, covering tens if not hundreds of channels became expensive.

2. With the introduction of the internet and streaming, print lost marketshare and advertising overall became less effective.

3. Further, with the birth of Social Media, marketing folk are finding it hard to make their brand heard in the marketplace. Less than 1 in 200 Facebook fans engage the brands they are a
fan of. (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute)

They used to control the consumer viewing experience, that control is now largely in the end user’s hands.

Much of Social media is where people choose to privately interact with others but it has also become an advertising catfight. Subconsciously this is seen as an intrusion
and being tuned out.

In 1958 TV commercials represented 13% of programming, today it’s 36% (including in-show brand appearances). It becomes almost impossible to maintain a sense of continuity when watching a program, so much so that recording devices, Netflix, Hulu, other subscription and streaming services, have become popular in large part to reduce ad content.

Online, many brands ensure you are targeted based on behavioral data analysis. Targeted vs. 'run of the network' ads had only increased conversion rates when clicked on from 2.8% to 6.8% on average. 68% of Americans object to targeted advertising. (The Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey). Lately 'influencers' promote brands where young people connect on social media. Think about that for a second – renting people to tell you what to buy! Even though advertising in other media has always been 'star influencer' rich, it's only a matter of time before Gen Z and Millenials "trend" away from that one, by default they are smart buyers – having grown up on the web, an online scam mecca.

The end result is that we live in a society with an information overload problem, and much is being tuned out. Humans evolve and adapt to change, as such we are finding we are learning to selectively hear what we want to, the first time advertising is seen it might be absorbed, repetition used to work as reinforcement, now it’s like an off-switch!

Look at yourself and those close to you, notice we are all engaged in selective listening!

With an increasing number of Geo-targeting techniques, particularly with Geo-Conquesting (when marketers try to lure away customers who are visiting their competitors using location-based ads) you could be forgiven to becoming hypersensitive to where you are during any given moment in your day!

Why is it that gas pump TV advertising seems particularly annoying and intrusive?

Is it even safe to click on online ads? Hackers are targeting online ads: Google alone disabled 400,000+ ads from as many sites hiding malware back in 2013. (WSJ, Feb 2014). This has only become more sophisticated and pervasive in recent years.

All indicators are that advertising volume will continue to grow, it follows that the percentage of people tuning out the intrusion will increase. This means that the real ROI on traditional brand advertising should decline over time!

There are many ways of selling regular and online advertising, and costs can easily exceed return.


Traditional Brand advertising is the basis for Google, Facebook and many others to monetize their online businesses.

The trouble with Brand marketing is although marketing people are encouraged to “think outside the box”, the box of brand marketing itself is rarely challenged!
Brand Marketing isn’t the holy grail!

The essence of marketing is getting your product or service communicated to the marketplace as effectively as possible.

The Holy Grail of Marketing is to grow your product /service sales virally by personal recommendation, either by good old fashioned word of mouth and/or digitally, through Social Media in all it’s incarnations.

But social interaction is a process that is controlled by the end user or consumer, the average person has become immune to the advertising bombardment by sellers, and isn’t going gaga over their products or services, even less spreading the news to others.

So to the savvy advertiser’s dismay, the industry is engineering itself into a brick wall.

It’s floundering!


So, to take full advantage of social networks, rather than presume they will bend to your marketing framework, conforming to social networking maybe a friendlier, far more effective way to market your product/service, taking full advantage of its ability to spread your word virally.

Some of the most enjoyable buying experiences relate to finding a unique product/service and passing on your ”discovery” by word of mouth or virally over web-based social media at a rate that simply was not possible several years ago. I believe the viral capability is that much more enhanced if the product/service isn’t seen as an effort by advertisers to shove it down our throats. By de-structuring traditional marketing elements, reducing or hiding your logo altogether, downplaying advertising and experiential marketing and focusing marketing efforts instead on the new, more subtle task of enhancing a “discovery” process, certain brands may better conform to, and find acceptance in, a jaded consumer market!

What's more is that Steve Jobs grew Apple from almost bankrupt to the world's most valuable company at that time using those very principles:

As did others with eye-popping success:

I think these examples make it evident that the current advertising/marketing model has long been bested, the question is, when will you get on board to move your organization's income potential forward?


Creative Marketing Engineers

Chief Creative


A 30 year veteran creative in the advertising and marketing field. He has lived and worked in South Africa, Australia, Amsterdam and Atlanta USA working for Design Studios and Ad Agencies, starting his own shop in 2004. RINC has a broad range of clients, primarily in the Financial Services, Tech, Aviation and Healthcare fields.


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