Ads Everywhere

Advertising on EggsThe New York Times ran its second major story about the proliferation of what I’m calling embedded advertising, this time focusing on the many new and unique places from which advertisers are attempting to insinuate themselves into our consciousness. Ads are being printed on subway turnstiles, physicians’ examining tables, airport security trays, and yes, supermarket eggs. Video screens are now a part of elevator doors, school buses and taxi seats. Video is projected onto the sides of buildings.

Last week the paper ran another piece on digital billboards. These things are programmable and cycle from one ad to another every six or eight seconds. Advertisers claim they are no more distracting than conventional billboards, but given that income on these things is four or five times higher than on a conventional billboard, it seems to me that they want to have it both ways. Every time the thing switches, your nervous system, exquisitely tuned to help you pay attention to change, makes you look at them. Drive extra carefully.

People now see more than double the number of advertising messages they did 30 years ago — about 5,000 per day. “What all marketers are dealing with is an absolute sensory overload,” said Gretchen Hofmann, executive VP of marketing and sales at Universal Orlando Resort. No kidding. Fifty percent of people surveyed last spring thought marketing and advertising was out of control.

As long as we accept this situation, it will continue to grow. And technology now makes it possible to put advertising literally anywhere. But people in many communities are saying no. If you want to learn more, a good place to start would be web site of Commercial Alert.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Media and Society

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