AdAge: Maybe the Web’s Not a Place to Stick Your Ads

Great article on AdAge  (registration might be required, I can never tell what’s behind their annoying subscription firewall) that shoots holes in the tired thinking that marketing on the Internet is all about banner ads. The lemmings couldn’t be more wrong, says author Michael Creamer:

What you’re about to read is not an argument for making over web marketing as a factory for destination websites or for making every brand a content player. … This, however, is a call to give some thought to a question that’s not asked enough about the Internet: Should it even be viewed as an ad medium? After all, in some quarters of the broader marketing world, the habit of looking at advertising as the most important tool in the marketers’ toolbox is undergoing intense interrogation. Consider the growth of the word-of-mouth marketing business, premised on the notion that people not corporations who help other people make consumer decisions. Or look at the growing importance put on public relations and customer-relationship management both in marketing circles and even in the c-suite.

The same conversation should be going on around the Internet. Trends like those listed suggest the possibility of a post-advertising age, a not-too-distant future where consumers will no longer be treated as subjects to be brainwashed with endless repetitions of whatever messaging some focus group liked.

Nice to see someone at an advertising trade pub call out banner ads for what they are: an outdated attempt to replicate the past sins of the print world instead of creating something unique for such a transformational medium.

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