Video Ad Model No Threat

Traditional media finally has something not to worry about.

A study from Forrester reveals that 82% of the consumers they surveyed thought video ads were annoying. A full 75% said they just ignore the video ads and only ten percent said they interacted with these ads occasionally. If I'm selling traditional media, I'm going to like selling against these statistics.

Of course, you don't have to go to a research company to know how ineffective the new age of Internet advertising really is, you just have to be a Gen Y'er or the parent of a Gen Y'er or a nosy person watching someone blow off Internet advertising. I know I am oversimplifying this and there are Internet advertisers with stories they consider success stories, but really, how threatening is Internet advertising?

Gen Y hates advertising. They openly state they'd like everything for free. Of course we all want everything for free, but these people mean it. While that is not going to happen, let's keep a few things in perspective.

I don't believe Google will ever see its $1.6 billion investment returned on YouTube. This is not to say that it wasn't a good move for Google to buy YouTube, but there are no guarantees. News Corp is trying hard to see its $600+ million acquisition cost turned into wild profits but even that's not a slam dunk. Watch the Gen Y consumer. The more you monetize, the more you threaten to lose their eyes and ears.

Let's face it. All consumers would probably like to watch TV without advertising. Radio without commercials. Newspapers without ads. Movies without those annoying pre-feature advertisements. This is never going to happen. I don't like to say never and you'll note I nonetheless said never. It's isn't going to happen. Wouldn't be prudent.

Gen Y consumers also don't like to pay subscription fees -- a problem for music services, online radio stations, some podcasters and traditional publications looking to monetize their online presence. Internet TV is coming some day. Will it have commercials? Will the consumer be asked to pay for it like cable?

Is anyone thinking about this?

They should be. Because the irony of our modern media world is that we all hate commercials yet the Super Bowl is as much a "commercial bowl" as the ultimate football game. Traditional advertising has been laying an egg for many, many decades and yet it has funded radio, TV, print, outdoor and just about anything else you can think of.

One reason for this is that advertisers, agencies, program suppliers and the like rarely focus on effective advertising. They never did then and they aren't doing it now. So advertising doesn't appear to have to be effective to be the vehicle of choice for companies with goods and services to sell. If this is true then welcome Internet! Why hold it to a higher standard than traditional media.

Technology has changed. Generations have changed. Expectations for advertisers' return on their investments -- priceless.