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Opinion and Insight

“Advertising Has Been Dead for Five Years. It Just Doesn’t Know It Yet.”

Is there life after death? Brett Channer, Founder and CCO, Mass Minority, North America, ponders

“Advertising Has Been Dead for Five Years. It Just Doesn’t Know It Yet.”

Advertising has been dead for five years. It just doesn’t know it yet. The ad industry seems to be existing in a state of purgatory. Propped up by the shareholders of the global communication holding companies, it trudges along in a poltergeist state. With hunted misery it shamefully longs for the yester-years when fame and glory was delusionally theirs to have and enjoy. And like Jacob Marley it is desperate, begrudging that it can’t just die and move on to a happier place. 

Instead the industry is bogged down with the heavy chains of commands, profit objectives and ways of doing things that seem to act as a form of punishment for making the same decisions it did so many years ago. 

Floating between a state of life and death the ad industry truly does not know it is already dead. It is no longer relevant or a part of people’s daily lives anymore. Instead it lives in a state where it is ignored or investible even though it is everywhere all the time. Our analytics tells us 65% of every dollar spent in advertising in North America last year was ignored and ineffective at doing anything at all. If that statistic doesn’t suggest to you the industry is dead, then it’s because you are already one of the dead and don’t know it. 

There is life after death for this industry but only when you are ready to move on from what it was. Only when you are prepared to throw away all of the irrelevant behaviour of the past and start anew. Brands can’t buy their way into a consumer and an ad agency can no longer be dependent on that model anymore. The consumer has moved on and so must you. 

Socialising a brand you treat like a media product is the only way out of this state of misery. Agencies have to learn how to supply content in real time to small, more relevant communities who care about what the brands or products stand for and how they impact their lives in a positive manner that they are happy to share with others. 

In other words those who don’t want to die and exist in a state of nothingness must learn how to earn their way into people’s lives in meaningful, compelling ways. If you don’t, you too will be burdened with the chains of redundancy and malcontent. Yes, you too will join an industry that is already dead and doesn’t even know it yet.