We love it, we hate it, it controls and manipulates us, we depend on it.
We love that it gives us free broadcast TV and radio. We love that it subsidises cable and satellite services. It gives us a goldmine of free internet sites. It keeps the cost of our daily newspaper in check. And it annoys the hell out of us.
Why does it annoy us so? Not just because it fills up our in-boxes with spam, but because it is so stupid, obnoxious, intrusive, repulsive, false, and just plain aggravating. And why do advertisers do things like pop-up web ads, screaming late night car dealers, and annoying CGI lizards? Because it works, that’s why.
The point of advertising is to generate revenue. Any form of advertising that generates more revenue than it costs will obviously be utilized and over utilized until it stops working. Spam and pop-up ads are so prevelant because they are so cheap. If one moron buys phony Viagra from a spam e-mail, it motiviates the “advertiser” to send out 18 billion more spam messages.
So while the collective “we” can complain endlessly about spam, the collective “we” deserves to keep receiving it because some one of “us” responded positively to it.
In what I hope will become a recurring series of posts, I plan to look at some of the lowest forms of media advertising. I don’t have any hope that “we” will ever stop asking for this garbage. I just like to poke fun at “us” for asking for this.
Please stay tuned for more.