Americans are bombarded by hundreds or even thousands of advertisements every day. Traditional freeway billboards, television commercials, print and radio ads, and most recently ads on the internet. For years there’s been discussion every February regarding the amount of spending companies put into coveted Super bowl ads and people act shocked, but are they really? These companies need to make money to keep on running, and nothing, besides the clichés like love and happiness, are free.
Lately I’ve been hearing people complain about internet ads, like those on social networking sites like Facebook. I think the people who are doing the grumbling don’t understand that websites like Facebook, or any other for that matter, don’t run themselves. There’s a lot of work and numerous people ‘behind the scenes’ that make it possible for you to have live chats with friends in Australia, or read an article from your laptop in New York that’s been put out in a publication in Iraq. The internet isn’t magic, although my grandma, who still hasn’t gotten over the amazing existence of color television seems to think so. Plain and simple, it takes money to make money, and advertising is money! I believe that any internet site that provides you with a benefit or needed information free of charge has an absolute right to put as many ads up as they like with no backlash from the user.
While I firmly believe in online advertisements, I do take slight issue with print ads. I was reading a Cosmopolitan magazine (handed down from my mom, I would never pay for one) and was disgusted that I had to flip through thirteen pages of ads just to get to the table of contents! Why is this different than internet ads? It’s different because, this magazine was purchased for $4.29. When you buy a magazine you are paying for ads, yet no one seems to complain about that!
When it comes to television ads, I am a little torn. I have an appreciation for the purpose that they serve, economically speaking, and I do like to be hip to what the cool new thing is, but a little moderation would be nice. When I see the same ad a hundred times, I am honestly more likely to boycott the product than to purchase it. As a mom, I get sick of explaining to my daughter why we can’t go to Chuck E. Cheese’s or have Happy Meals ten times a day.
At the end of the day, I think we as Americans just have to accept that ads make our world go ’round. As irritating as most of them are, advertisements are now an essential part of our economy and free (sort of) market. I say ‘If ya can’t beat ’em, join ’em’! I have signed up to do sponsored tweets on Twitter, taking my little slice of the ad market ten cents at a time. Ten cents might seem like nothing, and it is, when compared to the forecasted ad spending projected for 2010. According to a DMNews article, ZenithOptimedia, a world-wide authority on the subject, spending will top $62 billion for internet advertising alone. All major advertising outlets combined will see more than $154 billion spent.
Frank Washkuch, “ZenithOptimedia Improves Ad Spending Out;ook” DMNews
Cosmopolitan, June 2010