Is Advertising Dead?



Guy Kawasaki, a man I respect immensely, asked “Is Advertising Dead?” in his blog. I wrote a few comments in reply and I would like to share my latest reply in Guy’s blog with you here.


Hello Guy,

Well, I’ve finally watched the one hour video and what I said in my previous post are still ok and I would like to add the following.

Before I go on with my BS, major kudos to the six panel participants (Sam, Lauren, Johan, Kayla, Sabra, Kendall) for sharing what they do, their views and experiences with us. After all, they are the future of the world. We old farts will become star dust long before they do.

Let me say from the start that even though a sample of six is *not* statistical significant and generalizing their answers should be avoided, listening to them answering Guy’s questions is still an eye-opening experience for me and I’ve learned a lot.

If I have magical power, I will reword Guy’s blog title by adding two words and change it to the less sexy but more accurate, “Is Traditional TV advertising dead?”

IMHO, with the exception of major events (sports, etc.) and some top rated shows (may be), the old school “traditional” 30 seconds TV ads are pretty much on serious life support now. But the smart advertisers (and broadcasters and programmers) are already moving on or planning to move on. But if we look further out into the more cutting edge ad campaigns, I think advertising is very alive and well (as least for those creative and well-executed ones that I talked about in my advertising postings ).

IMHO, Guy correctly observed the fact that the younger generation are not watching the TV ads and avoiding the banner ads (one guy). But the problem came when this idea was generalized to the catchy “Is Advertising Dead?” without any restriction/qualification (e.g. “Traditional TV”)

I love creative and well executed advertising. I hate poorly thought out and boring ads (e.g. I seriously dislike an VW Rabbit ad (and other poorly created ads) that I am forced to watch repeatedly during all my recent CIFF Film screenings.)

By the way, here is a perfect example (in my book) of an advertising that is super creative and flawlessly executed.

Lexus IS Mosaic (click on VIDEO, and unless they change it, this is the bottom right corner one)
“For the launch of the 2006 Lexus IS, Saatchi & Saatchi agency, Team One, linked emails, photo uploads, banners and a website to create a photomosaic at Times Square, New York. The website for the Lexus IS Photomosaic received 600,000 visitors and 70,000 photos were uploaded.”

Look closely and think carefully, if you are not impressed by the above campaign, I will give your money back! (big smile). Note: I don’t work for S&S but I am a big fan of Kevin and would love to buy him lunch one day to learn from him.

I can’t and won’t tolerate bad ads and I agree the traditional “old school” ads are on serious live support. But at the same time, the new ads and communication methods are so creative and exciting that the fun is just beginning only if you look at the right places.

These are just my 2 cents.

“ideas are the currency of the future.” – Kevin Roberts


You can see my comments here and here.


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