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Sunday, November 15, 2009


Not that long ago, it used to be that advertising was confined to predictable locations. You'd see it on TV, hear it on the radio, see it on billboards and on the sides of buses. Now advertising is everywhere, and with all the noise, the target audience doesn't even see most ads let alone remember them or the product.

It used to be that only minor league baseball teams had advertising on their walls, now all the big league teams do. It used to be that if you saw a truck with writing on it, it was the name of the company that owned the vehicle, now it's just as likely to have ads on the two sides and the rear. It used to be that you could put down your tray table on an airplane and just have a plain, beige surface, now there's an airline that sells that as advertising space. It's gotten so bad, there are even public restrooms with ads in the stalls.

The kick off for the football game is usually sponsored. The replays of home runs are sponsored. Driving down the freeway this summer while the PGA was in town, I saw a Mercedes that was discretely labeled as the official sponsor of the tour.

And the thing is as new and more places are used for advertising, it takes more and more views before the product registers. If it ever does.

It all becomes noise. It's like walking into a crowd of people and since everyone is talking, you can't hear anyone. I was an advertising major in college and I have an interest in it, but even I'm burnt out on the plethora of ads that surround me. It's overload and I know I'm not alone. The sad thing is that they're talking about putting advertising in even more places--like inside books, both electronic and print.

I just have a single comment on that. No.

I want one place where I can escape the noise.