Advertising is like pollution. It’s noxious, obtrusive, and seemingly ever-present. Sure, there are exceptions – no one minds an ad that is creative, clever, or genuinely entertaining. But consumers have learned to ignore, bypass, and tune out ads. The admen have countered with even more aggressive techniques, interrupting everything we do… to talk about themselves. Is that really the way to get me to know, like, and trust you and your brand?
If we look at advertising like pollution, then here’s a parallel concept to explore: Advertising Offset Credits. In the terrestrial world, environmental polluters can purchase Carbon Offset Credits to compensate for the damage they’ve incurred. What if we did the same thing for the most annoying advertisers? Would that make a difference?
I explore this thought experiment here in Episode 116. Listen here or in your favorite pod player.
This episode was inspired by a quote from Andrew Essex’s Ten Principles for Better Advertising:
Measure what actually matters: How about calculating the real damage incurred by being annoying? Traditional ROI metrics put us in this predicament, so let’s fundamentally redefine ROI. It’s time for the industry to toss out our old reporting techniques and invent an entirely new measurement system rooted in hearts and minds and humanity. No one actually pays a price for making bad ads. Imagine if we could precisely calculate the long-term cost of your irritating people.
SOURCE: The End of Advertising: Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come (affiliate link) by Andrew Essex, pp. 205-8. Published by Spiegel & Grau, 2017.
When companies have a “not-for-profit” arm, doesn’t it contribute to profit in some way? Are these charitable programs and foundations legit, or are they just a form of Corporate Offset Credit? Wouldn’t it be better if the corporation just did some lasting good instead of being exploitative and then “covering” for it? I wrote a song to see if this concept would carry – and I use it as background music in this podcast from time to time.
As I mentioned in the episode, I can teach you the soft-touch techniques that I teach to my clients:
- Free help in my podcast and blog.
- Inexpensive help in my online course.
- Exclusive access with one-on-one training.
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