I think it is safe to say we all have had a moment where we clicked on an ad by mistake and before we knew it we had fallen down some kind of rabbit hole with pop-ups about various topics from diet pills to hair loss treatment to so so SO much worse. You will be glad to know that the ad, or banner, you clicked on is slowly being killed by banner blindness and ad blockers. And an less gullible population.
Digital advertising has done quite the evolution these last 20 years moving from banners to bigger formats to native ads that melt into the page (by the way the best way yet for the advertising industry to say “we know you don’t like ads, and we don’t care because ads are meant to be horrible, but we will get you somehow. We will GET you by sneaking up on you… BUY THIS NOW!”), to content ads in the shape of articles or videos sponsored by a brand.
“Instead of sponsoring content, brands will BE the content.”
The quality of advertising has slowly been improved by people who see them. If we don’t like them, they don’t work, hence why brands have had to keep changing strategies in order to get attention from consumers. Ads are definitely getting a bit more interesting and with new technology like VR imagine the crazy things we will get to witness. Hopefully. Because the way the people in the industry think about ads are too old fashioned still, it’s like they cannot see outside their little mad man world.
Future advertising, if it’s good, won’t be advertising. It will be content, a product or an experience all on it’s own. Instead of sponsoring content, brands will BE the content. Editorial content and advertising will become so interlinked we will no longer think of it as separate entities. In some sense, advertising will cease to exist. At least as we know it today. Because advertising will have to provide something more than just a banner or sponsored content – it’s going to have to be a product in itself, whether it’s in the shape of an article, a VR game or a trip to Bali.
“…we will talk to them more frequently than we do our own family members.”
With the emergence of VR, IoT, AR, AI, and all other acronyms we see a shift towards experiences and a close integration between human beings and technology. The closeness between our products and us might be seen as slightly inappropriate today while, when we are immersed in it, we will stop thinking of our devices as inanimate objects. We don’t hesitate to welcome Siri, Alexa and other smart devices into our homes with open arms. Instead we will feel like they are part of our family and we will talk to them more frequently than we do our own family members. So the question is then, how will this affect us as human beings? How will we change the way we interact with the world. In the future, interactions will be between products and people or products and products, which ultimately will change the way we think and behave with other humans. Most of us will prefer to interact with a computer over other Sapiens. Who else can’t wait?
Maybe this title should have been “The end of humans as we know them”…?