Have we lost sight of creativity in advertising?


As practitioners of a creative craft, what are we trying to accomplish?

As practitioners of a creative craft, what are we trying to accomplish?

Is the constant drumbeat from ad technology firms overshadowing the importance of creativity?

For those of us left in the advertising business, it seems that every message we receive has something to do with ad technology and its unlimited possibilities for making advertising more effective.

We, as agency creatives (if that is still even a relevant term), are overwhelmed with digital platforms. From programmatic media buying, to optimization, to first and third person data, it appears that ad technology has become the means to the end.

As practitioners of a creative craft, what are we trying to accomplish? Once, our primary job was to inform and entice people to purchase our client’s products and services. This usually required the talents of humans that could string together words, pictures, thoughts and emotions into a memorable experience executed across different mediums.

To accomplish this, a deep understanding of human psychology, communication and interaction was required, intertwined with a point of view. The message could be perceived as funny, clever, sarcastic, and informative, a hard sell, or any one of hundreds of different tones and styles of human communication.

Ad technology is nothing more than a delivery mechanism

Ad technology providers would lead you to believe that the message is secondary to the channel from which it is delivered.

With all the streaming bits and bytes of data swirling around our sensory receptors, it is no wonder that the “human” part of us has learned in a relatively short time to tune out internet advertising.

The reason for this is that the message has been compromised by the delivery mechanism.

The religion of ad technology practiced by the providers of ad networks, mobile apps, and behavioral retargeting wants us to believe that the scripture of analytics trumps creativity and with enough retargeting, our resistance will ebb and we will succumb to the purchase of a product we don’t want or need.

The reality is that we have already learned to block out such annoyances that appear on our screens as we read the opinion page of the New York Times or catch up the on final quarter of the game we slept through last night.

John Wanamaker in 1898 was correct that half of the money spent on advertising is wasted. The trouble is knowing which half. I’d make the case that this still holds true today, considering half of digital advertising cascading across the internet is never seen by a human being.

Additional articles you may find of interest on this topic:

Do your customers suffer from “E-fluenza”?

The Precarious State of Advertising & Marketing

Why bother with branding?

Please leave your comments or thoughts below.
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Aviation Marketing: 10 ways to build a following for your blog

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Aviation marketers can use social networks and key word optimization to increase their blog following.

Blogging with no followers is like the sound of one hand clapping. Building a following can be time consuming and resource intensive. Below are 10 tactics for gaining traction and building a solid community of followers.

10 tactics to increase your blog following:

    1. Be an expert in your subject: make sure your core topic has not been extensively covered elsewhere on the web.
    2. Create a professional presence: first impressions and functionality contribute to the users’ experience. If you are not familiar with landing page design, find someone who is.
    3. Have content ready to go: being under the gun to produce content leads to writer’s block and uninteresting subject matter. Have at least 30 blogs ready to publish before launching your blog site.
    4. Keyword optimization is essential: search engine optimization for keywords helps drive traffic. Invest time and resources in learning Google-friendly optimization. When in doubt, seek professional advice.
    5. Use social networks: make a point of tweeting about every post and sharing it on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Join relevant LinkedIn groups and post to their discussion boards.
    6. Use your contacts: review your email list and address book for followers. Send an email to them with a link to your blog post.
    7. Add the blog link to your email signature: give more people the opportunity to find your blog site.
    8. Use social sharing: post your blog posts to Stumble Upon and Mashable to increase the reach of your postings.
    9. Comment on other people’s blogs and articles:

seek out people that are writing about similar subjects, and comment with a link back to your blog.

  1. Monitor your analytics: monitoring your analytics will tell you what’s working and what’s not resonating with your audience. Blog posts with higher analytics numbers indicate topics your readers are interested in.

I’m interested in hearing from my fellow aviation marketers. What has been your best tactic to increase blog readership? Please share your experiences and most successful tactics in the comment section below.

Aviation Marketing: How emerging technologies will impact the differentiated brand

Emerging Technologies Google Glass

Connecting digital technologies — data, devices, screens, and sensors — will define the social experience, leading aviation marketers to customize the brand experience based on society and cultural relevance.

The Futures Company published “Technology 2020: How the Digital World is Reshaping Business.” The report provides a framework for, and a view of, the way in which digital technology will evolve over the next decade, and helps organizations plan their response to these changes.

My views on how technology changes will affect aviation marketing are below.

ICT (information and communication technologies) are challenging the idea of the brand defined by solutions and needs because interconnected technology is fluid, redefining the relationship between brands and their customers.

4 technology groups that will impact brand differentiation:

  1. Data – large amounts of information on all aspects of customer behavior, which can be stored, shared, and analyzed to gain a greater understanding of buying patterns and trends.
  2. Devices – internet-enabled devices such as mobile phones, tablets or computers capable of accessing, communicating and sharing information without the need of a physical office.
  3. Screens – flexible and immersive ways of displaying information beyond the traditional 2D computer, mobile, or television screen.
  4. Sensors – wireless-enabled sensors embedded in products that can send and receive information about how customers interact with them.

For aviation marketers and manufacturers, it is important to understand the interconnection of these technologies. However, as these technologies become unbundled and more sophisticated, customers will become accustomed to high speed “ubiquitous computing” where ICT is integrated into everyday life through interaction with product and services.

Implications of technology change


  • Pervasiveness and interconnection: When the dominant model of the personal computer fades into insignificance.
  • Mainstream adoption of 4G networks: Explosion of innovation in location-based services and applications.
  • Aggregating and analyzing data: Understanding patterns of behavior at a macro and individual level will be a marketing imperative.
  • Technology will become more visible: As customers become more comfortable with technology, digital disruption will increase.


  • Consumer concerns around data monitoring and privacy: Customers’ concerns about where, how, and with whom their information is being stored and shared.
  • People switch off from technologically mediated contact in a major way: Customers limiting their exposure to digital communication due to information overload and burnout.
  • Marketing moves from being in a “solutions and needs” business to a technology-driven, higher-service, questions business: Companies move from marketing product differentiation based on functionality to technology solutions based on individual customer’s needs.

Click on the following link to view the full Futures Company report “Technology 2020: How the Digital World is Reshaping Business 

photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc