Do You Really Hate Advertising?
A lot of people say they do. When professions are ranked by public perception of honesty and ethics, the bottom positions are held by stockbrokers and members of Congress, but right next to that neighborhood lies the advertising business. A Gallup poll revealed that only 11% rated advertising highly. This is probably not surprising. Decades ago, H. G. Wells said “advertising is legalized lying.”
Advertising is all about delivering information, but the problem is that most modes of advertising deliver that information as an interruption. And deliver it mostly to people who aren't interested in it.
When a person is already interested in a product, everything changes. They actually seek out the information on the product. We’ve all seen the results when we look for product information on the internet. Even if we end up making a purchase right away, we end up seeing ads for similar but competing products at various sites across the internet. It’s targeted at what is supposedly the exact right audience, yet it's even more annoying than the general interruptions.
Consider the difference with advertising that comes in the form or promotional products. It is non-intrusive, and people appreciate that. It doesn’t get in the way of a TV show or magazine article; it doesn't interrupt the scenery on the highway. In fact, people say thank you when presented with a promotional product. They will stand in line to get one. They’ll wear one, spreading the message wherever they go. Now that’s advertising that people don’t hate.