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Your Pancakes are following you. Direct Hit. (Really, they're watching you)
By: Brian Keller
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One day Sheri of AT&T said: Hey, we have a website get me a piece of paper. Hey Amber Leigh, look at this. “Hey, signals or data expressed as series of the digits 0 and 1, typically represented by values of a physical quantity such as voltage or magnetic polarization are digital. Get me those clowns at our agency, and let’s do a banner ad.
 
(Her Assistant) Amber Leigh: “What’s a banner ad?”
 
Sheri of AT&T: Who cares, but I'm not paying 15% media commission on it. "How Sweet it is." I’ve just changed advertising forever.   No one will escape it.  And, consumers will put the bulls eyes on their backs. Soon all advertising will be a direct response, up close and personal. It will be, One nation (then the world), under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice and individual targeted irresistible offer for all...
Amber Leigh: And Justice for all, Metallica! We're not  safe from Direct now I don't want a Pocket Fisherman.”
 
Sheri of AT&T:  Of course Metallica. “Ah, but they are safe. You’re talking old school. You go to the mail you see that envelope, you see the Johnson Box, and you trash it. You see a pocket fisherman ad turn it off, done. But, now I seea web, a worldwide web of ads, no one will be able to escape. Because no matter where they go, we will follow. And, we will be able to follow because they won't turn off, they won't drop out, they'll be tuned in, 24/7.  We’ll be trolling for them, with the digital bait, we've just invented. Trolling, an interesting word.”
 
Amber Leigh: What are you talking about, already? Digital bait? You're crazy with yourself. You need a good Rolfing.
 
Sheri of the Digital Space: Amber Leigh, I’ve seen the future, and it’s not talking on the phone, kiss me goodbye AT&T I’m going to follow the light. One day, there will be a universal digital meeting place. Maybe there will be multiple places.  People will gather around the digital fireplace to scream about politics and take pictures of their food. And, there’s room for expansion of these platforms. I see a place where you can go meet people and see how they may benefit their own professional lives. I see it based on “Small world experiment” the study of network theory by Stanley Milgram. People will be professionally hooking up, “Six Degrees of Separation” style.  All will look for symbiotic relationships, and all will have trumped up job-titles which will be used to advance their careers. Everyone will be impressive. And, all will not care too much about anything as long as they get theirs. This will be free, but to join they will give me/us/others of our ilk their personal information just so they can receive some kind of electronic applause for their largely lame pontifications and explorations. My prediction is, soon people will look to this arena for news.  
 
We’ll buy and sell that information and use it to follow them and target messages to them. People eventually will not be safe from what I’ll call data mining, analytics, and Artificial Intelligence. We will be with them everywhere they go. By the time they wake up, it will be too late. 
 
Amber Leigh: “Then What, Sheri?”
 
Sheri of the Digital Space: “Then it don’ matter. Then I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’ where — wherever you look.” 
"We're going to be digital Tom Joads.  Mark that up agencies, Fuggedaboutit. "

One day not that long ago, after that conversation, in 1994, AT&T ran the first banner ad. The ad was a call out on a web page driving people to click.  Two years later, Yahoo! launched search ads, and in 1997, pop-up ads started to pop up, then keyword auctions and Google AdWords, apps, social ads, and more, more, more. Much of the demographic information was and continues to be, mined from cat picture posters, food picture takers, dangerous location selfie posters, regular selfie posters, political posters, grandkid picture posters, and the like. Billions of people are giving away information on exactly what they like, hate, buy, hate to buy, have to buy, and where to buy, who they vote for, who they don’t vote for, and the beat goes on. Then one day someone said, “Hey, I just put up a picture of my Denny’s Grand slam on Facebook. Then I got an email from Denny’s, and then I got an ad in my newsfeed from Denny’s, and then I got a message from Waffle House. How cool is that? They know right where I am.
 
And then one day someone said: “ Facebook has changed their privacy rules. They’re using our information and our pictures.  That like totally blows. Like, I’ll fix it.” Then in 2012, this nitwit posted:
“Don’t forget tomorrow starts the new Facebook rule where they can use your photo don’t forget Deadline tomorrow!!! Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from tomorrow. Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed. It costs nothing for a simple copy and paste, better safe than sorry. …. I do not give Facebook or any entities associated with Facebook permission to use my pictures, information, messages or posts, both past, and future. …. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute). …All members must post a note like this. If you do not publish a statement at least once it will be tacitly allowing the use of your photos, as well as the information contained in the profile status updates."
 It has not been a Facebook killer, it doesn't work, and it’s made the rounds in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 as well.
Why are the people getting mad? Didn’t anyone realize that when something is free, it’s not? Every time you get an app, join a group, fill out a form etcetera your information wallet is open. NOTE: On August15, 2019,UCC 1-308- 1 1 308-103 and the Rome Statute (look it up) was circulating on Facebook again. 
 
What you see in digital, what you see on the web, what you see in your apps is advertising directly to you. What you're beginning to see in your smart appliances is ad content generators and behavior, prediction facilitators. The world is direct response.
 
Average adults spend more than 2 1/2 hours on Social Media every day. The average amount of time in the "digital space" (American adults) is roughly 11 hours daily (including social media). The digital ad spend will be  $333.25 billion and digital will account for roughly half of the global ad market. It expected to go to $523 billion in the next two years. (there are conflicting reports on the spend but there are different variables used to determine the spend.)  
 
Progressive just keeps rolling along, why?
 
Divorce will touch 50% of the children in the United States. Half of those children will see the breakup of a second marriage. Children of divorced parents are more susceptible to injury, asthma, headaches, and speech impediments, and are fifty percent more likely to develop health problems. And studies (beginning in the early ’80s) have illustrated that Teenagers of divorced parents and blended families are more likely to need psychological help (300%).
 
Stop Jamie - Step Jamie
We assume that Progressive doesn’t realize this, and the other facts about divorce. They keep running an abysmal commercial that makes light of a new man being introduced into the lives of two teenage boys. Someone felt that bundling insurance messaging needs something vile to be played as a comedy. Someone felt that the line “You’re not my dad” is funny. Progressive, long the home of Flo has sunk further by using her ancillary posse members as stand-alone. Too bad you can’t say “unbelievable”, because it’s not anymore.
 
 
 

 


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About the Author
Brian Keller is the Creative Director at teeny agency in Baltimore. He graduated from the University of Maryland (English), went to grad school at NYU (Cinema Studies), & attends University of Baltimore School of Law.

Brian's been working primarily in the digital space for years but enjoys all communications avenues.

He has built the creative departments at two agencies.

He likes skateboarding with his son. He also falls off his skateboard and amuses his son. When not amusing his son or riding bikes or playing basketball or working he writes for Beyond Madison Avenue & that's why Beyond Madison Avenue appears twice in this sentence.

Find him online here and at www.teenyagency.com.
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