IBM: End Of The Advertising World

    November 9, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

There won’t be unstoppable viruses, implacable zombies, or nuclear weapons involved in the end of the advertising world as we know it (though I think I just wrote the logline for next summer’s blockbuster), but the times will be a-changin’ for advertising through the next five years.

IBM says the next five years will hold more change for the ad industry than the last 50 did. This kind of invalidates Mark Zuckerberg’s "once every hundred years, media changes" comment he made during the Facebook Social Ads announcement, but no matter.

IBM: End Of The Advertising WorldIn IBM’s report, titled "The end of advertising as we know it" by someone who’s spent far too much time listening to ’80s-era REM, the study’s creators see a pair of disruptive variables affecting the future of advertising: the openness of ad inventory systems, and the shift of marketing control towards the consumer.

As the ad industry pushes ad inventories open, and places more control in the hands of the individual, IBM sees an inexorable move toward a broader ad marketplace. People will favor some ad formats over others, and advertisers will have to satisfy that demand in the ad marketplace.

Think of it as Super Bowl Sunday over and over again for advertisers. They not only have to come up with marketing that infuses the message with significant creative effort, they have to do that over and over again.

Conversational advertising may be all the rage now, but IBM hints at a forthcoming boredom. It’s amazing to think the fast-clicking media consumer of today could become even more jaded about advertising, but there it is.

End of advertising as we know it? IBM presents the case through some handy factoids collected during the study’s collection of survey data:

40 percent of respondents found ads during an online video segment more annoying than any other format;
Kids flocking to new, free, interactive content sources (75 percent of them hitting social networking sites, but fewer than 15 percent watching "premium TV"), and they are not accustomed to paying for content, either;
Consumers surveyed in general most widely adopted social networking (45%) and user-generated content sites (33%), moreso than premium TV, iTunes, or online newspapers;
49 percent of advertisers expect to shift spending away from television;
Two thirds of ad professionals want to shift away from impression-based to impact-based ad formats over the next three years; And, more than 50 percent of advertisers expect low cost, automated ad-placing online aggregators to take 30 percent of the revenues from media incumbents within five years.

IBM’s research puts the ad network buys by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL, and WPP Group into perspective. They want the foundation for aggregating and placing advertising in place, now. That leaves it up to the brands and the ad agencies to populate those networks.

Imagine the next big shift in content creation. It won’t go from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, or even to the broader Internet. Madison Avenue and its ad empires may be the next avenue of the stars.

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