Smart about future of advertising: Felix Salmon, Jonathan Mahler
Hey, these guys crystallize a lot about what even outsiders like me are thinking, that big spender advertisers want to be associated with quality-looking media. Sounds obvious when plainly said, but these guys back it up.
This revolves around what’s considered “quality” in media, which seems to always involve really good story-telling and production values. In news, “quality” requires trustworthiness, but it’s not the same in entertainment or infotainment. It’s very gray in situations, like in Citizen Kane, one would like to trust that Kane is a trustworthy depiction of William Randolph Hearst, since the imagery is so powerful.
Given that, here’re what I feel is the gist of what Salmon and Mahler have to say:
So the difference in ad revenue is not a function of the audience. … It really is a function, just as Mahler says, of the perceived quality of the content: advertisers are willing to pay ten times as much for professional TV shows than they are for general YouTube video.
Again, the main reason is the quality of the content: advertisers prefer to buy space adjacent to material which is considered highbrow, rather than space adjacent to material which is considered lowbrow.
Call it the Associative Property of Advertising: the real value of an advertisement, to the advertiser, lies not in the ad itself, but rather in its context.
I guess the context thing is real, the value of an ad is the branding imagery that persists in the mind of the reader.