That’s Gonna Be a Heavy Swipe-Left


Twitter, what are you thinking?

The best thing abut social advertising is that it creates the possibility of value-adding ads, rather than interruptive media. The types of ads that people are legitimately glad that they were exposed to are my hope for our industry as a whole.

Then, all of the big guys seem to simultaneously trash that pipe dream.

This week, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are all out there promoting their pre-roll ad units.

These are the ads that think that it’s a good idea to force themselves in between you and the content that you actually want to see.

Only traditional advertisers wouldn’t immediately see what’s wrong with that.

So What?

When ads interrupt, they change the entire social contract that we have with them. In the old contract, we tolerated them annoying us in order to get free or cheap stuff (transit, newspapers, TV, radio). In the new contract, we reward them when they add value to our lives (social sharing, opt-ins, lead magnets). But in a world where the companies that control the attention (ie. Twitter & Facebook) force us to exchange that attention for the opportunity to view the content that we actually want to see, then we’re back to the us vs. them relationship. And nobody likes “them”. It’s the marketing equivalent of the Costanza leave-behind.

So, what can you and I do about it? We could try tweeting at Jack and Zucks, but just in case that doesn’t work, I’ll suggest two ways that we can keep this value-train moving in the right direction.

  1. Please don’t be that guy
  2. In a world of interruption, the brands that offer value may miss out on a few short term wins, but they’ll be the ones who people really do care about.

  3. Understand the context that we’re communicating in
  4. Given that it is happening, we have the opportunity to be the contrarians. The ones who stand out in a sea of interruption by creating advertising that people get value from and want to share with their friends.

Are you into this sort of thing? I started writing these posts to keep our team at the cutting edge of what’s going on in the industry, then I started emailing it out every Monday to a small group of people who wanted access to what’s going on, and now I’ve opened up that list to everyone who reads this blog. If you want to read what’s new every week, throw your info into our sign up form here.