Control

Control

: Last week, I quoted reports from the Association of National Advertisers confab, in which many realized that they’re not in control anymore; the shift of control that has happened to the rest of media is now coming to advertising. This week, Ad Age Editor Scott Donaton says, Amen. (And, of course, the online editor over there puts the boss’ column online!):

General Motors’ Roger Adams… said, “The consumer wants to be in control, and we want to put them in control.” Echoed Saatchi & Saatchi chief Kevin Roberts, “The consumer now has absolute power.”

“It is not your goddamn brand,” he told marketers.

This consumer empowerment is at the heart of everything. End users are now in control of how, whether and where they consume information and entertainment. Whatever they don’t want to interact with is gone. That upends the intrusive model the advertising business has been sustained by for decades.

  • Office Drone

    You’re right about the trend. . . except for office tower elevators. That’s the last holdout of “we broadcast, you shut up and watch” mentality. That’s where a company called Captivate (and they got the captive part right!) has put in little monitors where they flash tidbits of news infotainment and celebrity gossip. If the media-advertising old guard dreams came true the entire world would be stuck in a giant elevator, starting at their little screen while moving slowly between floors.

  • luciferous

    The revolution in the food chain continues. Change won’t come from the top of the old food chain – broadcast media – because the status quo is comfortable and profitable. But when companies that want to sell stuff realize the old broadcast model costs too much for what it delivers, and advertisers respond creatively by developing practical alternative approaches, the dinasaur will starve.

  • Richard Aubrey

    In southeastern Michigan, the king of radio stations is WJR. They are a talk radio station, with local and national programming, including Limbaugh. And their commercials are endless. In addition, too many people think they can make up better ads than the agencies, and these are painful to hear. When a programming break begins, I hit the button on my car radio and listen to something else for five or seven minutes. I have nine other stations and a CD player available at the touch of a button, and the buttons are about five inches from my right hand when I rest it on my knee.
    Do I listen to WJR? Sure. The question is whether I listen to WJR ads. No. Don’t have to. Don’t.
    If a survey company asked the latter question, ad rates on WJR (high) would tumble.
    Ditto television. It doesn’t take long to get a sense of the timing and switch back about the right time to pick up the programming.
    There is an enormous industry conglomeration, news, entertainment, and advertising, all resting on forcing themselves to not know nobody pays any attention to the ads.
    Sooner or later the kid yelling about the emperor’s wardrobe will get some attention.