“You’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything.”
Here’s a simple, yet painful truth for you to wash down with your ‘hurray it’s the weekend’ coffee:
PEOPLE DO NOT CARE ABOUT ADVERTISING ANYWHERE NEAR AS MUCH AS YOU THINK…
An odd thing for someone working at a martech company such as Bubbl isn’t it?
Well, no, actually.
To the many creative marketing geniuses across the land, these ad campaigns are their art, their voices and their unique vision that shows the world how brilliant they are. And we do all recognise these wonderful pieces that permeate modern culture. Hell, we have countless awards events telling each other how great we are. But yeah, we get it, you’re great. Ok?
But you know what happens to these works when seen through the eyes of Josephine Public?
Buy this. Buy this. Buy this. If you buy this everyone will love you. If you buy this you might even love yourself. Please buy this I have a huge mortgage. Please buy this I am way off my target this month. Buy this. Buy this. BUY ANYTHING. BUY. BUY. BYE BYE.
Annoying, isn’t it?
So what do we need to focus on to keep audiences engaged and happy?
Here’s a better question:
What was the thing that attracted the audience in the first place?
Good content. Great writing. Unique tone of voice. Expert opinions. Curated by and for people like you. A trusted source that shaped your own opinions, made you laugh, think, feel and in some cases, act.
This is true for all of our beautiful sources of media, be it radio, TV, print or online. We’ve grown up with these omnipresent wells of wonder. We valued them. Not just with our hearts but with our wallets.
But somewhere along the way, the greedy folk took over the online space. Instead of original cool stuff, we were bombarded with:
“YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. CLICK HERE!”
“LOOK HOW OLD THAT ACTRESS FROM THAT TV SHOW IN THE 70’S IS NOW. CLICK HERE!”
There was no signpost that said this way for quality and that way for bullshit. It all lives in the same overpopulated city we call The Internet.
And guess what happens to a voice when it gets mushed in with all the others?
It gets lost. So does the value of that voice to attentive ears. We are all tired of this. We are all tired of grief tourism, body shaming, antagonistic opportunism, rumours, lies and idle gossip. All for clicks. Clicking along to the misery like a doo-wop group in purgatory.
This is starting to sound like a discarded monologue from Trainspotting…
What I’m getting at is the loss of trust in online media is felt from all sides. Advertisers don’t really know how effective their campaign is. Sure, you get analytics but we all know how easily those numbers can be manipulated; An interesting piece from The Drum a while back
Advertisers are losing serious money in this wild west and audiences don’t know who to invest their time in.
But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel of mixed analogies. Perhaps it’s because for some reason our Christmas advertising tries harder to be more human so it’s a bit more noticeable at this time of year, perhaps it’s because I think that the whispers are getting louder.
When I read this piece, I immediately leapt up and shouted “Amen!”
Note to self: Don’t ever do that in Starbucks again.
If you do nothing else this weekend whilst sobbing along to all those heart-wrenching Christmas campaigns, click the link above and read the article – and I promise this isn’t clickbait.