No Ad Here - New Year 2009 Editorial

While traveling in Texas, I noticed several billboards that said, "Does billboard advertising work? It just did." I need them to explain their meaning of the word "work." Did the billboard get my attention? Yes. Did it sell product? No.

The advertising industry tells their clients that billboards and digital billboards attract attention, then tell traffic safety officials that drivers will not be distracted. "Pay me money Mr. Client and I will make people look, but don't worry Mr. Safety, no one will look."

The advertising industry seems to think that their success rate is falling because we aren't noticing. They think they just need to make more noise. The truth is that the public has learned to ignore this attempt to brainwash. The public is suffering from sensory overload. The public has learned to look beyond the noise and ugly clutter in the modern world.

I see a thousand pieces of advertising every day. I couldn't possibly buy that many products and services. I buy based on recommendations from people I trust, my own research, reading labels in the store. I see advertising as an attempt to confuse and misdirect. The advertising industry hopes that if they tell you lies long enough, you will believe them. I buy little based on advertising.

How many movies have you wasted your money on after seeing a great trailer that contained the only good scenes from the otherwise empty movie? How many times has your child dumped out the cereal to find the free toy to find something less than expected. How many electronic gadgets have you bought that can't last the year.

Maybe it's time to take advertising money and redirect it to qualify. Make stuff people want to own. Make stuff that lasts. Word-of-mouth advertising will sell far more quality product than lies will sell junk.

Happy New Year and the best of Good Buys

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