I’ve recently begun studying the world of advertising in some detail, and contrary to what one might think, it’s a fascinating subject (then again, I find every other subject fascinating so YMMV). And the more I get into it, the more I feel like a paradox studying advertising. Why’s that? Because I don’t “do” ads, and actually go to great lengths to avoid them:
- I have a “No ads, please” sign on my mailbox, saving me from having to wade through the ton of the printed ad material I would otherwise get and from carrying all that paper to the recycling point every year. I probably save a tree or two in the process also.
- I don’t have a TV, so no television spots reach me. With whatever television shows I watch, I remove/skip ads one way or another.
- I employ the best ad-blockers around on my browser to save me from at least 99% of Internet advertisements.
- I don’t listen to the radio, thus saving myself from all radio ads
In essence, the only ads I’m exposed to are newspaper ads, outdoor ads and the ones shown before a movie at a theater.
Yet, I use and love services like Google and many other ad-supported Internet services. In essence, that makes me a freeloader. If everyone in the Internet did what I did, a lot of the free stuff that’s around just wouldn’t be possible. So shame on me, right?
Well, no. At least I won’t be the one to take that attitude 🙂 So why am I doing all this to block advertisements? There’s one very simple reason that I think justifies it all – most ads suck and are of no value to me. I am happy to receive and pay attention to either smart, good advertisements or targeted advertisements on travel deals and other stuff that I actually care about. For one, I like the Amazon recommendation system.
What I don’t want is to be barraged with low-budget, idiotic, condescending, undistinguished, dishonest, unintellectual, irrelevant, boring, misleading and plain stupid ads – features which too many ads around here exhibit. So I blame the advertisers for not targeting me well enough, instead assuming the same $hit goes down well for all of us. I’ve got news for you: it doesn’t.