Intrusive Advertising, Again

The NY Times has a depressing article on the fervor around “out of home” advertising - in other words sticking an advert on any conceivable surface outside your home, in the hopes that you will see it, fall in love with what it’s advertising, and buy it.

A little while ago I coined the phrase “indentured advertude”, after indentured servitude (where people are forced into slavery in order to pay off a debt). Likewise, indentured advertude is about forcing you to look at advertising in a place or circumstance where you’ve already paid a fee to be there (such as movie theater or airplane seat), and have no escape exit.

Here’s what the Times has to say:

The ardor to reach consumers outside the home — and outside the realm of traditional media like television — continues to grow among marketers. They hope to fight back against technologies like digital video recorders, which make it easier to avoid conventional advertisements like commercials.
Out-of-home media was once commonly known as outdoor media, reflecting its roots in billboards, posters and signs. The term has been changed to reflect the expansion into places like airports, offices, malls, schools and health clubs, where the ads are inside but not inside the home…
The new places for ads — as well as the addition of digital and video capabilities to signs, bus shelters, phone kiosks and other sites — are among the reasons ad spending in the out-of-home category are second only to online advertising in growth.
The goal is to engage consumers “during the course of their daily lives in places they go on a frequent basis,” said Rick Sirvaitis, president at StoreBoard Media in New York, which puts ads on the security pedestals at the entrances and exits of retail outlets like drug stores.
“In 36 years in advertising, for the first time I can look people in the eye and guarantee every consumer will be exposed to the message,” Mr. Sirvaitis said, referring to a StoreBoard sign, “because you can’t miss it.”
Unfortunately this doesn’t look like it is going away as companies face ever increasing pressures to keep up consumer spending and revenues. But it’s going to make for a depressing lived environment.


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