“They’re very refreshing”

Rick Bruner examines the problem of mass marketing these days for Online Media Daily and concludes that consumers don’t hate advertising — they’re just trying to avoid what they don’t want. Is this a bulletin?

The popularity of consumer-controlled media arguably has more to do with consumers’ desire for the exact media they want when they want it than it has to do with ad avoidance. Nonetheless, the same tools that enable consumers to skip ads if they want to, raise the bar considerably for advertisers.
This may be true, but there’s one other rather important argument: people don’t have time for it. Why marketing gurus can’t see this is beyond me, because if they could see it, they’d come up with better solutions than — as this article touts — Burger King’s Subservient Chicken. Don’t get me wrong. The chicken was great, and I’m a big supporter of viral marketing, but the industry is in love with product placement, and all that will ultimately do is ruin entertainment. And we wonder why people are making their own.

You know, there are some genuinely funny and interesting things about commercial products. They’re a part of our lives, and Seinfeld was great at pointing out a few. Who can forget the Junior Mints episode where Kramer says, “They’re very refreshing.” If such a scene were written into a sitcom today, we’d all suspect the Tootsie Roll company had paid for it. That’s pretty sad. Perhaps one day somebody will make a show that does nothing but parody product placement advertising.

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