English articles, Media, Top Tasks

Advertising: to interrupt or not to interrupt the task

Who owns the advertising space, who owns the future of media and advertising, asks the new IAB Belgium president Jo Caudron. His message holds a call to action for introspection, asking the right questions to discover what will grow tomorrow in advertising. But will the advertising world ever take the break that involves thinking?

If you don’t take a break from time to time, thinking is difficult. Now, if there is an industry that never is quiet, never seems to take a break, it’s the advertising world. Always looking for the next creative find, running after the newest hype.

And not only that, said Katarina Dodd at the same IAB Think Digital conference in Brussels today. The language of marketers is full with militaristic terms. And it is about ‘us’ and ‘them’. And advertising interrupts what people are doing. And now that people are media-multitasking, that gets worse.

In other words, the advertising world is well aware that they interrupt the task people are busy with at that moment. Yet, they can’t help it, that’s what advertisers do: getting attention. And apart from how irritating the interruption can be, the real problem is when they don’t stop getting attention, when they continue to wave and shout and get in the way.

Then we call it bad marketing, and we believe it any more. And then we turn it away. In online, the consumer has a task and wants to perform that. That could be a good basis for the reflection in the call to action of the new IAB president.


About Toon Lowette

Customer is not king on the internet, he is dictator. Online services are successful if they allow the customer to do what he came for efficiently and without confusion. Toon Lowette is online publishing consultant in the Customer Carewords network of Gerry McGovern. Task management is the central issue. We teach websites to manage the task, not the content, not the technology. We teach websites to become relentlessly customer centric.


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