Advertising can be fixed – it needs a radical rethink beyond interruption

 In advertising

Advertising needs a radical rethink. 

My GDPR + AI post last week talking about how soon bots may take over watching ads for us was very popular.

Angus Norriss put it brilliantly: GDPR is the movement, AI is the enabler.

I’ve been thinking more about the fact that the advertising model is broken, but no-one seems interested in a radical solution to fix it.

Walking in the London Underground to board my train after writing my post, I was hyper-aware of all of the advertising yelling out to be noticed.

And herein lies the problem – advertising wants to STOP us in our tracks and notice it, and take action. We’re clearly not doing that, and marketing channels are becoming more and more crowded. In part, that is the advertiser’s fault. As each new (social) channel came along, instead of leaving it alone for us to communicate with each other, they decided to take it over.

The social networks don’t help because their business model is dependent on advertising.

So, if we are saying enough with the interruption model, then perhaps using intelligent digital agents will help filter out the spam and let digital “deals” be done literally while we work, rest and play.

This will let us get back to the important things, such as family and activities we enjoy.

If you want to see how broken the old advertising model is, then simply google “It’s Lenny” You will find great examples of the lengths people are prepared to go to in order to frustrate advertisers in a civil disobedience way.

Over the weekend, I saw how a New Zealand outfit has developed an email bot that ties up email scammers for days.

Take a look at Rescam. 

I’m not against advertising, I’m just saying I’m over having to filter all the messages to find the one that is relevant. If a bot can do that for me, and do deals on my behalf within limits I set, then I have more time to explore the offers and products that I’m truly interested in.

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Based in London, Practical Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and commentator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.