People Are Put Off by Advertising

This a quote from a recent health care marketing report by the Economic and Social Research Council. Advertisers are having two very different responses though.

On the one hand, NBC is testing viewers brains (link has expired) to see if ads can still register even when TV viewers fast-forward past them.

bq. NBC is testing hearts and minds in its quest to track the habits of today’s elusive media consumer. The network last week received the results of its first dip into the world of neurophysiology—examining brain waves, galvanic skin response and eye movement of TV viewers. NBC used an episode of “Heroes” to find out what viewers comprehend of ads when they fast-forward past them on DVRs.

And Business 2.0 reports that Ogilvy and Yahoo both are using cookies and math to track online behavior and change the content of what is displayed to us in real time.

bq. Red isn’t working on a particular banner? The background will be blue the next time you see it – and the software will even swap the ad copy. No one’s happier about that than advertisers: Optimized ads perform 15 to 30 percent better than their standard-issue counterparts. “We’ve reached a point of instantaneous feedback,” Hendra says. That’s forced the business to become brutally Darwinian.

Meanwhile Toby at Diva Marketing Blog covered the ESRC Report on healthcare marketing (link has expired) that I quoted in the title of this post.

bq. One thing that really put people off was advertising, so people clicked off drug company websites straight away. Generally, the medical information on drug company sites is very accurate but people question the authors’ motivation and agenda. The issue of impartiality is quite crucial in building trust.

In the latter report, they did find positive results from people reading trusted friends and blogs.

It’s my opinion that people are done with being tracked, tricked, tempted, and targeted into buying stuff they don’t want or need. They are more curious than ever, however, about learning new things that will help them live happier and healthier lives. What side are you on? The “trick ‘em til they drop” or the “here’s my experience”? Which one gets your money and your love?