Advertising, scmadvertising

2 August, 2010

So IBM researchers are working on developing ‘Minority Report’ style advertising. This is all well and good, I suppose you’ve got have something to do (although if people are going to base their work on technology they’ve seen in sci-fi movies I’d still rather they focused their efforts on making some hoverboards already).

However, what really grates about this announcement is that this is being heralded as another breakthrough in the seemingly incessant push for more ‘targeted’ advertising. To quote from the story: “IBM claims that its technology will help prevent consumers from being subjected to a barrage of irritating advertising because they will only be shown adverts for products that are relevant to them.”

Now, I realise advertising is pretty much a fact of life, however, when is everyone going to realise that no matter how targeted they are, adverts are always going to be annoying? As much as advertising agencies, and the clients they represent, try to persuade us otherwise, no one wants to be stomped in the face over and over again by an advert – even if it is for their fizzy drink of choice or the maker of that jumper they saw the other day that looked quite nice.

As I say, I’d like to think there are other technologies that are worth prioritising before ‘new advertising platform’. And the sooner the ad people stop pretending that everyone would love adverts “if only they were more personal” the better. Tell us what it is and how much it is. Those that want it will buy it. Those that don’t, won’t. And leave the boffins to make me a hoverboard – which, incidentally, I would buy without needing an advert to persuade me it was a good idea.

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Finding your target audience

8 April, 2008

Has anyone else noticed that there seem to be an unusually high number of really bad adverts on TV at the minute? My current pet hate is the new Citroen C5 advert. Apparently, the car (not the ad) is “unmistakably German”. I’m not sure how the car is German – perhaps if they drove through Rome it would be “unmistakably Italian”? And what’s that got to do with it being made in France or not? I’m confused.

my kind of carIs there a strange group of people out there that this advert appeals to? OK so perhaps I don’t “get it” because, being a 28 year old female (shhh, my birthday isn’t until the weekend), neither the car nor the advert is aimed at me. It seems I’m not alone though. Even the car enthusiasts don’t buy into the car adds if this fellow blogger is any kind of example: Link

However the kind of advert that is aimed at my demographic also puts me off the products, including, for example, the “Live Academy” – hair dye that is used by women “who need help” – psychological help? Or the new Teletext Holidays advert which seems to be advocating leaving your pets on their own when you go on your holidays.

And… while I’m on the subject, what kind of weird planning is going on when an advert for the release of Disney’s “Enchanted” on DVD appears in a break in the film about everyone’s favourite fictional serial cannibal, Hannibal. Who is that aimed at?

right on targetI admit I’m biased. I’m not a fan of advertising in general. Being a “PR Girl” it’s always more difficult to prove the value of what we do as we don’t get that guaranteed result, but (in my opinion) we do offer better value. The main reason is that we don’t mess about trying to be cool and expect our audience to dig through 100 layers of nonsense to work out what kind of message we’re trying to deliver. We tend to stick to a (hopefully subtle) point – “Our client does X. It’s useful/appealing to you because Y”.

Oh dear. The car advert is back on again now. What utter rubbish. Perhaps they’re trying to distract us from the fact that it’s an ugly car?