Are Facebook's Ads a Trend Or a Fad?
In Louis Bedigian’s Are Facebook Ads Selling Deception? the question was asked and answered whether the consumer is being abused by finding advertising in their news feeds.
Of course the answer is a resounding yes. Move over to Google + was a suggested remedy. And although that remedy was quickly dismissed as unlikely in the near future, don’t rule it out. After all, remember the king of search a few years ago, Yahoo? And who’s on top now?
Back in the 1980’s on a trip to Israel, I was shocked and dismayed to find advertisements before a movie. I was thrilled there were no pre-movie advertisements in the USA cinema experience. Flash forward 25 years and not only is advertising ever present in the movies in the USA, but available for viewing on many public for-pay services.
I subscribe to Morningstar for investment information; replete with ads. Premium cable channels, although supposedly advertising free, are overcome with promotions for upcoming and currently airing programming on that same for-pay network. As a personal finance blogger, you are subjected to advertising on my site, although you don’t pay a subscription fee. And my readers appreciate the free content and have never complained about viewing an advertisement here or there.
WHAT IS THE STATE OF ADVERTISING TODAY?
The internet has caused a shift in the entire industry. Before the internet, advertisements were on television, in magazines, and newspapers. Billboards and signs were fair game for promotional messages. Executives in the advertising houses garnered large salaries creating exciting campaigns for their hungry clients.
Now, Fast Company lists Widen and Kennedy, Mullen, and Vivaki among the ten most creative marketing and advertising companies. These new marketers are certainly not the household names of Saatchi & Saatchi or Ogilvy & Mather of the print media days.
Like many industries, the advertising field is rapidly changing. Opportunities for advertisements in newspapers and print media are diminishing. Television viewership is also on the decline. The internet is where today’s consumer gets her news and entertainment. Facebook is one of the premier sites for internet traffic. It is understandable why Facebook decided to capitalize on this trend by expanding its advertising program. Some may suggest it is immoral or unethical.
In today’s rapidly changing culture, the consumer will ultimately decide what he will accept. If he tires of Facebook ads, there will always be a new platform in the wings. In that same vein, as print advertising has shrunk, on line advertising has opened up a whole new set of opportunities. Where else can a marketer spend a few thousand bucks and place plentiful text links on a variety of websites commanding millions of page views per day? The opportunities for corporations to obtain brand boosting advertising are greater than ever.
Facebook may be annoying, but whenever markets change, there are winners and losers. This is a time of transition for the advertising industry and time will tell how the new normal will emerge. Only then will one know whether Facebook’s ads are a trend or a fad.
Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is editor-in-chief of Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.com where she writes to educate, inspire, and motivate for wealth in money and life. Learn about personal finance from a real life Portfolio Manager & MBA professor! Stop by the website and download a valuable free eBook, 20 Minute Guide to Investing.
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