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December 17, 2015

Dodging Ads

Content Generation to the Rescue

Incognito browsing, Netflix, Ghostery, HBO and Amazon. These are but a few of the ways consumers are dodging ads.

The rise in ad blocking technology is leading to fundamental changes in traditional advertising. Adblock, a content filtering and ad blocking extension, reports approximately 50-60 million users per month and, according to TechCrunch, 2.3 million people download Adblock software every week. To add insult to injury, Adblock grew as a result of word of mouth, not a snazzy advertising campaign.

Forbes recently interviewed 1,300 Millennials and found that only “One percent of those surveyed said that a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more.” This generation thinks advertising is “all spin and not authentic.”

You may be able to avoid watching a Pepsi ad airing during a television break but how do you keep from watching it when the ad is part of the plot in Fox’s hit show, "Empire"? An ad is no longer an ad airing while a viewer gets a sandwich but is branded content within the context of a television episode. You can read more about Pepsi’s groundbreaking “integrated” ad here.

Will paid advertising go the way of the Betamax video recorder, Yellow Pages book and landline phone? Is there still a way to reach consumers with crafted, targeted messages?

This is where earned media comes to the rescue! Steve Rubel’s take in AdAge offers hope that marketers can effectively reach target consumers. He encourages people to “double down” on earned media, commonly understood as content generated as a result of promotional or public relations work.

Here are three ways you can drive earned media:

  1. Provide creative, authentic ways for others to create content through engaging social campaigns, contests, giveaways, reviews and product samples.

  2. Think and act like a media company. Create your own content and distribute it to consumers likely to want to experience and share it.

  3. Take the time to create and personalize pitches with key content creators—journalists, bloggers and relevant influencers.