The New York Times today published what could only be described as an editorial masquerading as news… I guess.
The article, titled “The Advertising Industry Has a Problem: People Hate Ads,” is about, well, you can tell what it’s about.
The problem is, it’s all wrong.
It’s a catchy and empathetic claim to make, but there’s absolutely no science behind it. In fact, research says quite the opposite. Don’t get me wrong: a minority of people say they like or even love advertising (and those people are in therapy). But a strong majority will repeatedly state that they don’t mind and sometimes enjoy advertising that is either entertaining or relevant and timely. The problem isn’t advertising, per se – it’s the interruption, the screaming and the messaging that means absolutely nothing to those forced to suffer through it.
When brands get that right, people respond. But that’s too hard, too detailed and too, well, fact-y. It’s easier to just say people hate ads and sign off. Oh, and – for what it’s worth – people aren’t stupid, either: they understand that a lot of the content they love is free because of advertising and, when asked, it’s a bargain they say they’d make over and over again.