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With marketing budgets being scrutinized today for ROI, advertising has been taken out of its primary position. A lot of that has to do with alternatives today and an apparent concern that advertising isn’t necessarily the answer. Worst of all based on some of today’s advertising solutions there is a big push back to whether it is accountable, giving way to it becoming devalued and something people don’t trust or feel good about spending money on.


Look at it. For the most part, it has become a wasteland of frivolity. With the advent of the internet in the nineties, (for some reason) today cynicism has set in big time as supposedly the mindset of consumers. So the answer now is to entertain with humor and shtick to get people’s attention forgetting about informing them about the client’s unique brand or product difference and benefits. This isn’t the case for every humorous effort by agencies but it has become today’s advertising execution for getting attention and making noise for a client without recognizing that people now can voice objection. Unfortunately a lot of ads created to get attention or entertain people become forgettable when it comes to remembering the client’s brand or product significance. Where’s their beef? Unfortunately this creates an acceptance of bad advertising that influences the schools and training grounds for individuals coming into the marketing and advertising business. And they wonder why when something doesn’t work after spending millions. The worst part is advertising at its best is being reduced to Saturday Night Live parodies leaving in question if you had any knowledge or experience in the industry, what happened to its integrity?

Some will argue that it’s the times, the information age, which is the cause for the way we create advertising today. Consumers control and you need to satisfy them.WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HAVING SOMETHING TO SAY THAT WILL AND CAN SATISFY CONSUMERS? Is the advertising industry incapable because of what happened in the nineties? Is there no longer a need to be informed well in spite of the internet? Do we all just blog now to find a great brand or product? Do consumers no longer want to understand the cache of a brand or to be identified with its quality? Has advertising now become a joke or something you don’t talk about as your profession today for fear of appearing to be a schiester? Is it dead because of the new digital age and potentially no longer needed as Bob Garfield wrote in his visionary The Chaos Scenario 2.0 in Ad Age? Is it really not accountable anymore? Should the content for advertising be created by the target audience instead of advertising professionals? I say no.


Yes, the information overload age is upon us and you have to deal with people watching a computer or cell phone instead of watching TV. But the ROA and ROI opportunity is still there to say something that will and can satisfy people in spite of the today’s circumstances. Resonate. It’s like a good book, conversation, movie, live concert, theatre, house party, or anything else you can seriously relate to. (Example: Chrysler’s “Farmerâ€)

Marketing is multi-faceted today with events, word of mouth, and online/offline social networking and yet still there needs to be a communications point made. Concepts with content that will satisfy people’s curiosity and make them think if they have a pulse.

Today advertising now has a wealth of creativity to draw from individuals within this country’s diverse mass markets that should be representing the marketplace change. If you look at the major markets in this country there is a profound minority/majority. Twenty years ago that wasn’t the case. Is this reflected in the development of today’s mainstream advertising campaigns? I am not referring to just utilizing more people of color in subordinate roles but rather incorporating their perspectives in the development and output of advertising messages. Here’s an opportunity for credible new work that would be really driven by the marketplace’s perspective.

The bottom line is the billions spent on advertising could be working a lot harder for clients and consumers. Every time an ad is created is an opportunity to say something that will and can satisfy consumers instead of being irritating, obnoxious or something to avoid. To not recognize this is to continue to devalue what advertising stands for, which is good information and ideas for the people by the people in today’s digital marketplace.

Steve Climons is Chief Brand Developer of Crossover Creative, a results-driven, award-winning marketing and advertising consultancy, and can be reached at