the future of advertising

From broadcasting to narrow casting, to social listening, to engagement, the list of empty terms is endless. As online advertising becomes mainstream and new media become old and challenged, the struggle to find the new thing becomes excruciating, almost ridiculous.

In situations like this it's always a good idea to keep it simple. Don't think tomorrow or next year. Instead, think 5 or 10 years from now. What do you see?

Well, you can choose to see a world where advertising is everywhere, a linear extension of today:

-Dominating all the media.
-Watching our every movement.
-Sending us highly targeted, even subliminal messages to create Pavlovian conditioned reflexes.
-Making us do things against our better judgment.

In this world all of us gradually sell out, using our own social networks to advertise to our friends, getting benefits and freebies in return.

It's a world where everything is free, but (alas) we still have to "pay" for everything.

And then again we can choose to imagine a different future:

1) A world where bad products have already gone the way of the dodo due to efficient, highly targeted advertising; nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising.

2) A time where agencies and brands have come to the conclusion that in order to survive and meet consumer needs they need to innovate and change their business models; forget retainers and create products and platforms with common ownership and shared equity.

3) A future where advertising stops being a separate layer only created to promote a product; instead it becomes an organic part of the DNA of the product. It adds meaning.

I like that idea. It's not linear and it makes me feel better about the future.

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