Stop Wasting Time, Money on Digital Ads

2017 02 27   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline Media    

The good news is that marketers are beginning to withhold their money from fraud-rich advertising environments. In the article to which I link above, Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer, laid it out for digital media – and guess what, P&G is only the first of some very big names that no longer are going to sit still for the man-made complexity and purposeful opacity of the digital-media landscape.

While I was reading this article, I wondered to myself what impact major brands would have if they just stopped advertising in digital media. I thought about it a bit, and came to the conclusion that they would feel virtually no impact. Here’s why: They would have tens of millions of dollars to put back into real media, whether linear, addressable, programmatic, over-the-top (OTT) or all of the above, and each and all would perform with a transparency that is missing from virtually every digital-media buy.

As it is, the term ‘digital media’ is an oxymoron; it does not offer scale or value, and is the one stream of ad messaging that is consistently, consciously and deliberately blocked by those it’s intended to reach. The question becomes: “Why pursue eyeballs that don’t wish to be reached?”
Why spend the money when reach and frequency cannot really be bought? Sure, you can buy insane frequency, but that tends to chase away your target market quickly. I look at this cycle and I see insanity at work, doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result.

“Don’t you get pissed off when all of these retargeted ads follow you all over the place when you already bought the shoes? That’s basically a marketer saying, ‘I have so much data. I’m going to show you how stupid I am.’”

~ Rishad Tobaccowala, Publicis,AdExchanger, Feb. 8

In order to get a different result, you have to get off the spinning wheel and find another path; in this case, the road to redemption for most brands and marketers is going back to what always worked (and still does): TV.