The Economy of Unbundled Advertising

Here is the latest in my ongoing series of essays, TV News in a Postmodern World. The Economy of Unbundled Advertising continues the theme of unbundled media by applying the same unbundling concepts to the ads that support all media. Advertisers are projected to spend $292 billion in 2006, and like the content players they support, the industry is dealing with real threats due to the unbundling of media. The same energy that’s pulling apart the packaging of media also demands that merchants who sell goods and services do the same in their communication with the public.

Who wants to sit through the pitch of a sales person at any kind of dealership? Just give me the price, man.

This essay proposes a form of advertising that doesn’t currently exist but certainly could. Like the personal media revolution, the concept levels the playing field for anybody wishing to sell goods and services, so I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to predict that something like this will come about.


  1. Terry, I completely agree that an Internet strategy that sells either by day or inventory or both is something that’s easy to do. More retailers should do it online. You’re right; unbundled advertising will win me in a different way than a pitch that’s made on TV. And I’m so jaded by TV.

    Did you ever hear that story about the Old Oaken Bucket company? It kept selling buckets and went out of business. Why? They didn’t understand they were in the water transportation business. TV station owners have got to ask themselves what business they’re in ~today~ or they’re destined for the rubbish heap of oak buckets and buggy whips.

    I just bought a new battery for my cellphone at I found it by searching on Google. I knew what I wanted; chose it and went to buy. They had a pre-filled “apply coupon code” when I was checking out. I pushed it being curious. It gave me a “10% Tuesday” discount. Love it!

    Maybe this is not the same as being influenced by a TV car ad but there’s room for it in whatever makes up the new paradigm. It’s the sale that makes the next sale. I got myself in the door by searching; I chose which retailer. I’m going back to this company the next time because they surprised me and made me happy about the sale. A TV ad can’t work like that.

    I think there’s only one marketing landscape and it includes TV and the Net and that maybe only one of the two is young enough to change.

    A thought-provoking piece. Thanks for writing it.

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