Watch any premier league football game live and you’re bombarded with advertising messages – from the players’ shirts to the pitch-side hoardings, the scoreboard sponsors to the printed programmes. Watch it on commercial TV and the number of such assaults on your senses skyrockets! As, back in the early 2000’s Jay Walker-Smith of Yankelovich Consumer Research famously stated, "We've gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970s to as many as 5,000 a day today."
Cutting the clutter
A symptom of our multi-device, always-on and always-broadcasting world, a decade later it’s likely that figure is now a wild underestimate. But we humans are clever beings. To avoid sensory overload we’ve become very efficient at focussing on the stuff we want to see, and filtering out the stuff we don’t. Using a mix of increasingly common technology and (figuratively) sticking our fingers in our ears and covering our eyes!
You might have heard the term “TV pick up”. Peculiar to the UK and largely blamed on our love of a cuppa, during the commercial break of popular programmes and following nail-biting sporting moments, Brits turn their back on the ads to stick the kettle on. For consumer brands paying a fortune for such a slot that’s got to hurt…almost as much as our move away from “appointment TV” to “TV on demand” where we fast forward our way through said ads.
“Gatekeepers” – the receptionists of old who, sworn enemies of the cold-caller, fiercely protected the decision-maker within a business - now exist virtually in the form of caller-display, voicemail, number blocking and the preference services. From 16th May telemarketers in the UK were forced to display their phone numbers (even if their call centres are based abroad) in order to make it easier for consumers to block them and to report nuisance callers.
In 2015 the total number of emails per day was over 205 billion. With this figure expected to grow at the rate of 3% over the next four years, even the marketers have to agree that without spam filters we would all be drowning in a sea of unsolicited mail. Those, plus tools like Gmails tabbed inboxes and grid view though, have conspired to make it harder than ever for them to reach their audience.
Annoying, disrupting and intrusive are three of the accusations often levelled at online ads. While incognito browsing keeps preferences private, preventing data collection and specific targeting of users, ad blocking software is becoming much more prevalent. Around 24% of Internet users in the UK are said to already have adopted it and, while currently only 8% use such a facility on mobile, this is set to grow. Many mobile operators are considering it as, along with the enhanced user-experience, it also means pages load faster, saving bandwidth and data consumption.
And that leaves print. Print and direct mail don’t solicit the same negative reactions as the other channels. Never disruptive, ever welcome is rather how we react to it. Got any doubts? You should check this out http://mailmen.co.uk/campaigns/the-private-life-of-mail