Online Inanity

  • February 15, 2014 at 6:11 am


Many moons ago, I gathered with a group of mates to watch the NRL Grand Final. It was a big occasion. The Raiders were in the game and had every chance of winning. These were dream days for the Green Machine.

And they won. And there was much celebration. It was a happy time.

But there was a cloud inside that silver lining.

It came at a very tense moment in the roller coaster game, we all on the edge of our seats. The Raiders were attacking. They were down a few points and the clock was ticking down. Nails were bitten and toilet breaks were simply out of the question.

The tension was almost unbearable but so so delicious. It was a rare moment in Canberra. Each side of the house, we could hear the same screams and shouts. They could do it. We were all behind them.

God, it was a wonderful time.

And the attack was sharpening. You could feel it. They were about to break the line. The enemy was wilting. Big Mal was roaming out in the centres, ready to take the defence on with his marvellous right arm. Belcher was a menacing presence, just back from the frontline, about to inject himself into the attack. The forwards, lead by the Brick With Eyes were relentless. Tackle after tackle, they pounded the enemy into submission. And Tricky Ricky was playing with them. Holding the ball up, teasing them with suggestions that he was about to unleash the fury, but then not.

Canberra was collectively going out of its mind.

Then the unthinkable.

The station cut to a commercial. A bloody commercial. Right when we could feel the blow was about to be struck, some idiot decided that was a perfect time to try to sell us a Holden.

We threw ourselves onto the floor and paced maniacally. We screamed at the box. The ad went on and on and on.

We were all in TV; we knew it was a 60 second ad. A whole bloody minute. It seemed to go on forever. We begged the gods to intervene and bring back the footy.

And finally they heard our pleas and the game came back on.

And we had scored a try. We had missed arguably the most important try in Canberra’s history. We could not believe it.

And so, the game continued and the mighty green machine took out the title. It was magnificent and we joined the rest of the Nation’s Capital in rejoicing.

But we could not forget.

We could not forgive.

And we made a pact – we would never, ever, ever buy a Holden.

We hated them for what they had robbed us of.

So, I have never brought a Holden. I am not sure if the others have kept their solemn vow. But, if they have, Holden would have missed out on a lot of cash over the past 30 years.

So, someone stuffed up big time and did exactly the opposite of what advertising should do. They didn’t build brand love. They created brand hate.

Fast-forward to now and we are in the depths of a brand hate epidemic.

Online advertising.

Inane. Stupid. Online Advertising.

Let me start at the top. The ads that think they are being clever-clever to cover up your screen just as you are about to read the news.

Honestly, who thought they would be a good idea. They must have rocks in their head. They certainly need to get the hell out of advertising and the brands they work for need to boot them to the unemployment line. They are not helping your business.

And then there are the online video ads. Where do I start?

Perhaps at YouTube would be a fine place.

What mug thinks that pre-rolling a 30 second ad before a 15 second clip is smart? It’s not.

YouTube and the ad agencies need to take a long hard look at themselves.

The brands that let these agencies place their ads in that fashion need to wake up and smell the rot.

Then there are the news sites. Again, who thought that a 30 second ad before each video was a brilliant idea? It’s not.

I could go on and on and on. I could rip into the endless animated display ads. Despite the fact that we have known for years that people have built up a wilful blindness to these pathetic attempts at attention grabbing, the online advertising folks keep doing them.

It’s all crazy and brands need to start taking their agencies to task on this. They need to tell them to get back to basics.

Insight, proposition, conceit.

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

Clever, engaging creative.

Building brand love.

It’s not rocket science.