Ads are everywhere I look—on cars, jet plane fuselages, garbage trucks, golf carts, kids' report cards, over urinals, on billboards, gas pumps, cellphones, sports uniforms, skywriting, and of course, on radio, TV, newspapers, magazines and the Internet.
"Somewhere between 254 and 5,000 is a number that represents just how many commercial messages an average consumer gets each day," wrote Editor-at-Large Matthew Creamer on AdAge.com.
In late August, I ran across a New York Times story titled: "Retargeting Ads Follow Surfers to Other Sites." The high-tech snoops know who I am, where I'm going, and, whether or not I respond to an ad on one website, it will turn up on the next site I visit. And the next and the next.
If I didn't respond to the ad in the first sighting, chances are 1) I won't respond to subsequent attempts and 2) these continued assaults on my privacy not only give me the creeps, but also incite me to bad-mouth the advertiser every chance I get to anyone who will listen.
In early September, I ran across a Wall Street Journal story titled "You've Got Ads: AOL to Offer Bigger, Fancier Formats." These are the goofballs who bought out Time Warner to create the worst merger in the history of the world—a $300 billion catastrophe.
Do they really think bigger, flashier ads will save their sorry little butts?
More Is Not Better
I've been in direct marketing for over 50 years, and the arithmetic of direct mail is hard-wired into my DNA. Because direct mail costs serious money (average 65¢ a pop), the rules are precise and you can figure the ROI down to a gnat's eyebrow. You test small and then test medium to confirm the returns. If the numbers hold up, you test big and, if you have a clear winner, you shoot for the moon and rent a villa for the summer on Cap d'Antibes.