Wednesday, May 02, 2007

making sense of advertising

does advertising work?
It's easy for us to think that we aren't affected by the things we watch, but if that's the case why do manufacturers pay thousands of pounds every month for TV advertising? And why, now that technology exists to record TV shows while skipping over the adverts, are more and more manufacturers paying for product placement in top shows rather than sticking to traditional advertising? We are fooling ourselves if we try to claim that TV has no impact and influence on our lives.
-- Get more like Jesus while watching TV, by Nick Pollard & Steve Couch, Ch 1 (p. 4)
my agreeance with the advertising argument[1] is ironic for (at least) two reasons:
  1. i watch a lot of tv, but disproportionately few ads. i tend to record shows, and fast forward through the ads when watching them later. i'm typically not interested in being sucked in by advertising. spurred on by my recent spate of travel (VCRs were just not meant to handle looking after half a dozen weekly shows for more than a week... yup, no HD/DVD recorder for this tv junkie), and now thanks to the combined powers of xvid, bittorrent, a broadband internet connection at home, and those nice(?) people in america who encode episodes from there which haven't even screened here, i catch most of my shows on a CRT of a different kind (yup, no LCD screens for this computer junkie). which of course means i miss all the ads, cos the encoders always edit them out to make the file smaller. even if the ads were left in, they're meant for a north american market, and won't typically be relevant to me.

  2. i have started advertising on this site. which i guess means at least part of me wants advertising to work! i've signed up with google adsense, and spent the last few days upgrading my blog from the old classic templates to the new layouts structure (trying to reapply the few tweaks i'd added over the years took a bit of time -- i just know i'd never get a job in web design!) and incorporating a number of adsense products on the page. i have to be careful about what i say about the ads, eg i can't ask visitors to click on them, nor click on them myself (though i'm curious how that would be policed/verified). what if i go the reverse psychology route and say don't click on them?? haha. anyways, just trying it out to see if i can generate additional income. you can too, but i can't tell you how i can refer you so that we both benefit... (but maybe if you wanted to, you could work that one out for yourself)

[1] of course, "advertising" is used to demonstrate/argue that what you watch in general (ie not just the advertisements) does have some impact and influence on our lives. and i agree with the general statement. (hopefully) more on this later...


  1. (though i'm curious how that would be policed/verified) [\quote]

    Apparently they can track the IP address of the clicks - so if they notice you've been clicking too many times they can hunt you down!

    This from a company whose catch phrase is, "Don't be evil."

  2. that's what i suspected. however i'm still curious as to how they can "prove" that it's the adsense account owner who's doing it. a few hypothetical examples (not that i'm encouraging anyone to break the T&C :p) -

    1. private home network with >1 computer behind a router. access from all machines will appear to be coming from the same public IP address of the "outside world" connection of the router. legitimate argument for "it wasn't me"? eg maybe the people i share a house with really like my blog/site!

    2. person with >1 regular access point, eg school/work/friends/free wifi hotspots (i can dream of that happening here), how do you prove that the access is coming from one person, not two (or more)?

    but i'm sure greater minds than mine have thought longer and harder about this, and have some proprietary system in place!

  3. Quop, at least u managed to get your Adsense up & running. I applied for mine on ANZAC Day, yet still haven't received any response. I think I'll try again, hopefully it'll be second time lucky ;)