"Imagine if Joe Smith, in need of a new car... presses a button on his remote and instantly receives more information about a Ford F150, including where he can buy one. Meanwhile, Joe's wife, Sally, watches a later ad for a Sony phone. The product on the screen is sleek and modern, and Sally wants it. She can turn her emotion into ownership, purchasing the phone with the click of a button."Yeah. Imagine if monkeys flew out of my butt.
A decade ago, paragraphs like the one above were appearing all over, promising us that interactive TV (ITV) would be the latest thing that would change everything. People would be watching a TV spot, and they'd see something they liked and they'd click and be taken to some long-form info-something. Then they'd click again and buy right from their screen.
Also, interactive web ads would be so much more appealing. engaging and enticing than traditional advertising. People would see our banners on the web and be fascinated by them and then click to learn amazing new things about our products and then order right from the page.
And our adoring customers would come to our Facebook page and engage with our brand and comment about how much they love us and share it with all their friends.
Only one problem: It's all bullshit.
- Every experiment with interactive TV (ITV) has been a disaster.
- Click-through rates on banner ads are below 1 in a thousand.
- Engagement rates on Facebook are below 1/2 of 1%.
Describing these ads as "interactive" isn't an indication of consumer behavior, it's an indication of advertiser delusion.
Delusional thinking isn't just acceptable in marketing today -- it's mandatory.
While people are interactivatin' like crazy with each other, interactivity with ads is miniscule. Bastards. Don't they realize we built all this shit just to sell them something?
The latest group to fall victim to the siren song of interactivity is Canoe Ventures, a consortium of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and four other cable companies that tried to resurrect ITV. Last week they shut their doors and laid off 120 people.
This is the last time I'm going to say this, so pay attention. In the digital world, people are passionate about interacting with each other -- not brands, not ads, not you, not me.
Get over it.