It’s Not Or, It’s And

Context is crucial. When I take the following text from a Business Week article, for instance, it sounds as if marketers want to save money by having customers make their ads. Since, that’s insanity, it must be something else. I must be taking it out of context.

In a time when consumers can scrub advertising from their laptops and distribute ad-free amateur radio shows online, marketers are giving away some control over their ads. Their hope is that the public will accept them as entertainment rather than advertising. The most successful have found it a way to spark buzz and get creative ads on the cheap.

The BW piece fails to make this point. Customer involved marketing is positive, but it’s not a replacement for anything, it’s one more tactic

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Agreed. And another thing to keep in mind is that the majority of consumers who are making their own ads tend to only do it for products they love–and that’s a tiny fraction of all the products in the world.
    Someone did a spot for iPod–but what about all the other mp3 players out there? Did anyone do their own ads for them?

  2. My problem with the BW article is the writer just throws language and ideas around without really knowing what he’s talking about. There’s no mention of customer evangelists like the teacher in California who made his own Apple spots for fun. The article is about brands like Audi and Converse that have reached out to customers to engage them in what is essentially interactive marketing. So, how does one jump from interactive to the conclusion that ads will be cheaper when customers make them? That’s why I claim lunacy. It’s silly talk, with no basis in reality.

  3. You are just cynical, jealous ad people afraid to change.

  4. Change is the only constant in our world. I love the changes the ad biz ig struggling with. It’s fun and good for everybody.
    As for telling me who we are, I have to laugh. This is a blog where we show one small part of ourselves. You don’t know what or who we are, and it’s some weak sauce to act like you do.

  5. it or hate it.. it’s constant.