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Ad Nauseam

November 19th, 2007

Today, it seems that we can’t turn around without coming face-to-face with an advertisement.  With the explosion of new technologies, companies are finding new stomping grounds for new-age advertisements.  It is impossible to check our email or log into a website without encountering a plethora of ads.  And as ads continue to break ground and become a staple in the technological world, they are also multiplying in older, more traditional forms of media as well.
Ads and product placements are frequently found in movie theaters on the big screen, in video games, and just about anywhere else companies can find space for their promotions.

Ads are even being placed on living humans who are following in the wake of Nebraska native, Andrew Fischer, who started this trend by selling his forehead on Ebay for more than $37,000.
With ads spreading like wildfire and thriving in what seems like every virtual and physical space imaginable, it’s difficult not to ask yourself, “Where will this proliferation end?”  Will billboards be placed on the sound barriers of highways?  Will company ads begin to be spelled out in Fourth of July fireworks?

In an episode of the animated sitcom “Futurama,” a 20th century newcomer to the year 3000 has advertisements placed in his dreams via gamma radiation.  With advertisements charging ahead on their current all-encompassing train, this fictional depiction seems to become a plausible reality.

Now, I’m not here to argue whether or not there is inherent value in advertisements.  While the fact may be that when we purchase a video game, a DVD, or a movie ticket, it isn’t to look at ads, we all know that they will inevitably be included (like it or not), and we may or may not become familiar with a new brand or product to a marketer’s delight.  But the fact is, we are forced to spend a large portion of our time closing pop-ups, filtering spam from our email accounts and deleting adware, and this is just plain annoying.  The truth is that the “adsterminators” simply cannot keep up with the ads.  The popup blockers can’t stop them all, and the ones that make it through are a clear nuisance, even if effective.

These new forms of advertising will likely continue and grow, as one of the byproducts of new technology.  The coming years may likely hold ads in cell phone text messages, on Starbucks coffee cups, and anywhere else marketers can find a square inch to post their promotions.

Posted Under: Advertising, Innovation & Technology
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