I wrote sometime ago about the amount of advertising in the world and how we should not fool ourselves into thinking that advertising will pay for all the products and services we would like to use; be they a TV programme, a daily newspaper or a website. Advertising won’t pay for it all because there’s not enough money to go around. Basically, the well isn’t that deep. The pot isn’t that large. There are too many hands in the till. Those kinds of metaphors work here, I think.
For me to say that is really easy but we also need to think about the pot/well/till and just how big it really is. There are a lot of resources that estimate the amount of advertising measured in all sorts of ways. And with different colclusions. Will budgets grow or will they shrink during the global meltdown? And where will the money go? Newspapers are suffering, traditional ad-funded TV and radio has long since lost any licenses to print money and digital advertising will grow, or maybe shrink. The outsider would assume that digital advertising has taken taken some kind of wild bungee jump into the well and the hands can, sometimes, grab the cash (if the cash was floating in the well … ah, you get the point).
But regardless of the current state of the budget we’re are moving into a world where there is a proliferation of ‘stuff’ that we all enjoy that we don’t dierctly, pay for. We pay by allowing the product/service to take a fraction of our time in viewing the ad. This proliferation of ‘stuff’ however, means the marketers/advertisers have to spread their limied budgets in an ever-growing number of places. The water in the well must now quench thirst for many more people.
Thinking about the well, I’ve started to wonder how long it will be before the amount of water in the well isn’t enough to keep anybody alive for very long. Are we moving to a position where things we all want to watch/read/consume will disapear because marketers are trying to use a little of everything? You know what I am thinking here: spend some money on social media marketing and take it away from TV. But now there isn’t enough money for either TV or social media.
Is this a concern? I don’t think my views are wholly thought through but I’m kind of throwing it out there to see what people think.
When will it end? When will the water run out?