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An advertising revolution to capture tomorrow’s customer

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Published by Spiegel & Grau, ‘The End of Advertising’ by Andrew Essex is 240 pages and sells for $27.
Published by Spiegel & Grau, ‘The End of Advertising’ by Andrew Essex is 240 pages and sells for $27.

Say goodbye to your money.

You need that new gadget, so adios. New bling is too irresistible, so ta-ta. Upgrade that device, see ya later, salary.

You have your priorities, you know what you must do to achieve them, and you know where to go.

But, asks Andrew Essex in “The End of Advertising,” have you seen the product’s ad?

Most people haven’t. We live in a time when online ads are blocked, radio is streamed and we can pay to avoid television commercials.

With very few exceptions, ads are “annoying interruptions” and consumers don’t want them, so they’re empowering themselves by making sure that ads go away.

WINDOW TO OUR CULTURE

The history of advertising goes back a long way. Procter & Gamble, then-makers of soap and candles, used newspapers to promote its products before the Civil War.

Since then, most companies have been resilient and resourceful with their ad dollars, transitioning to radio, TV and internet as each medium came about. Still, there’s no denying that we’ve been subjected to a lot of bad ads.

The thing is, says “ad guy” Essex, we need advertisements, if nothing but to find out about cool new things and to follow what’s going on, culturally. He (and possibly his colleagues) use ad-blockers, too.

Even though the biz pays the bills, everyone knows that advertising has to change.

CONTEXT IS PARAMOUNT

The biggest problem, Essex says, is that “most traditional advertising [doesn’t add] value to society. Mainly, average advertising just helped sell stuff.”

Today’s consumers are more cognizant of context over content. They’re more likely to skip pre-rolls online because who wants to be forced to “endure something he or she didn’t ask to see?”

It all leads to “infobesity,” Essex says, and consumers are sick of it, but don’t erase your ad budget just yet.

‘BRAVE, NEW LANDSCAPE’

There’s a new way of advertising, and it perfectly fits tomorrow’s customer. It’s a “brave new landscape.

“All it requires is imagination, conviction, courage and tremendous tenacity.

Simple.”

TV, radio, print. Who’s the best ad-rep to entrust your ad dollars?

Are your ads working – or do you need “The End of Advertising?”

ADAPTION

To stay relevant, says Essex in this sure-to-be-controversial book, you need to see where advertising’s been, the state of it now and where it’s going.

He spends some interesting time on the first point, in a look at the basic history of ads and big business, circa 1870-1990. There, we see how adaptation is everything.

It’s the latter – the future – that should revolutionize the way you advertise.

Though it’s serious business, Essex has fun with the “why,” reminding readers what they do during TV ads, how their Sundays are affected each winter and why ad myths deserve eye-rolls.

STAYING POWER?

What Essex ultimately finds – and recommends – really could change the world.

But will future ideas have staying power or will they just become annoying, too?

That remains to be seen but, in the meantime, you can’t afford to be without this provocative book.

If you’ve got ad dollars, “The End of Advertising” is a good buy.

Terri Schlichenmeyer of Wisconsin writes reviews of business books. Reading since she was 3, she owns 13,000 books and can be reached at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.

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