A Triple Attack on Google

There’s a triple attack on Google unfolding before our eyes (and their eyes).

First, Facebook. Not ‘social media’. Especially because: how many of these sites are economically viable? The private enclosure of the Open Web called Facebook.

Second, Mobile. Both apps as the possibility for brands to try to go direct to consumers and cut out Search. And, again: Facebook. Because a centralised platform like Facebook is much better suited to adapting to Mobile than the hundreds of thousands of not yet, if they will ever be, very mobile-friendly websites that advertise on Google’s search engine.

Third, Video. As the medium becomes more and more popular, video is winning over text. Traffic from video was 64% of all Internet traffic in 2014, and is expected to top 80% before the decade is over. Netflix, of course. And YouTube. But if Facebook entered the market, that could be another big headache for Google. Do you see a pattern here?

iAd and the end of AdTech

So, Apple is shutting down iAd. Well, sort of. To be more precise, they are giving up on making money with iAds. But they are not completely shutting down the service. They are working on it to reportedly let publishers sell directly to advertisers.

Now, I don’t have any proof that iAd and the end of AdTech will go hand in hand. In fact, I live in one of the Fashion capitals of the world (in Milan, Italy), not anywhere close to Silicon Valley, and I don’t know a single person who works for Apple.

But why in the world would Apple want to work on tools to let publishers sell ads on their apps directly and keep 100% of the revenue? Sure, to help developers make a good living, and to convince more and more developers to think iOS-first. No doubt.

But why not poke a finger in Android’s eye while they’re at it? Why not make it clear that there’s no AdTech user tracking going on in iOS? Why not make it another selling point for the iPhone? Why not put pressure on Google and their business model?

Dear app developers, from now on, if someone wants to advertise to your Valued Users, they will need to buy the ads from you. No more cookies to track who uses your app, and no more cheap ads to these users while they visit lesser apps or websites.

How about that?

Why TV is alive and kicking and newspapers instead are dead

Because this is not what we mean when we say “TV”.



This, as the caption to this photograph says, is an old-fashioned four legged TV set.

What we really mean by “TV” is the content — you know, the black and white moving pictures of times gone by, the news, the funnies, the sitcoms, the highly polished movies or the computer-generated special effects — that is delivered via the above TV set.

Or via a newer appliance, a computer, a smartphone or an iPad. Because nobody really cares much about the appliance — unless it has a logo of an apple on it, that is.

We’re dealing with a metonymy here. Like when we say: “We drank a bottle”.

– – –

But the same is true for “newspapers”. What we really mean is: the news.




Not these.



Fair enough. But much more has changed than in the case of moving pictures.

With the move to a new delivery system on the web, newspapers lost most of the revenue they used to make from classified ads to websites that deal exclusively in classified ads.

Advertising suffered a similar downturn. With the move to the web, ads placed against the news went from being the least intrusive and often best performing format of ads available to advertisers to being ads that just don’t work (online banner ads).

Lastly, a large part of the news has moved from the written word to moving pictures.

– – –

TV, instead, is alive and kicking for two reasons: First because, while nobody (except antiquarians, perhaps) cares much about old-fashioned four legged TV sets, we always want more content that informs us, entertains us and lets us lean back and enjoy the show.

Second, because, when done properly, television commercials work. Unlike banners ads, TVCs can create awareness and demand for new products, or increase the demand and sales of products already on the market. That’s right. That’s why companies buy TV ads.

Not because they’re new or cool or they make their companies look hip and “social”.

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In case you’re wondering: yes, I am very critical of online banner ads and social media.


You can have both of these for free:

15 Questions About Social Media


15 Questions About Online Advertising

Just like today

Just like today with “social media”:

The boffins had taken over – they could bamboozle clients with all the technical jargon of this mind-boggling new media. The fact that they didn’t have the faintest notion of how you could go about having an idea didn’t matter. They could talk about 12-frame dissolves.

— John Hegarty (on television, surprisingly)

What Content Means

What content means is that advertising has been hijacked by people who are slick with their Macs and their iPhones and their iPads, and great at bullshitting you — but who know precious little about advertising.

What content means is that these geeks in weird clothes who like to be called “digital natives” have many fans and followers, both fake and real. Often more than your clueless company will ever get round to amassing.

What content means is that they tell you and your company that the medium is the message. But “being on Twitter” is neither a strategy, nor a message. McLuhan perhaps would have loved this, but it’s completely wrong.

What content means is that by now even the bean counters have figured out that writing rubbish themselves for their own companies or for their clients costs less than buying ad space on the rubbish other people write.

What content means is that advertisers think that those people, the consumers, would gobble up anything as long as it’s pushed down their throats hard. But then “organic reach” on Facebook slips into the single digits…

What content means is that there is no idea. Not just not a big one: no idea at all.

Don’t be content.

Still in ßeta. Still FREE: What Happened To Advertising? What Would Gossage Do?

Digital Doesn’t Matter

I bought Josh Sklar’s book Digital Doesn’t Matter during a shopping spree and without realising (LOL) that the title of the book was ironic. The real irony, however, is that after reading the book I am all the more convinced that Digital Doesn’t Matter.

Josh’s book is a very long one, the content coming from 135 interviews with big shots in Advertising, and, to be perfectly honest with you, I can’t say I enjoyed all of it. However, the book does provide some interesting answers to some important questions.

For example: why is Digital all of a sudden all the rage, after having been neglected and ignored and even scorned for so long? That’s a simple one: because there are over a billion people on Facebook, and that, of course, changed just about everything.

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