Make the TV Commercials Stop
M.G. Siegler

What is the problem that TV ads are solving? It’s not what you think. Anyone who wants to comments on this should start by reading:

Assuming his model is correct (and I think that for many ads it is), then this type of advertising needs a medium that is, almost by definition, not precisely targetted. To work it has to get the “affinity” message out to not only those “in” on the product but also those who define themselves by their opposition to it. Right now TV is the best game in town for that. Maybe something like Facebook will one day be a good replacement, but not yet. And this is, of course, utterly different from the ultra-sliced demographics advertising that Google champions.

And most of those companies do, I think, advertise on the model that Kevin Simler suggests. In the case of cars this is so well known it’s a cliche. In the case of telco companies, the same is becoming true. (VZW for your jingoistic business man, ATT for your cosmpolitan business man, T-Mobile for your rebel wannabe, Sprint for your cheapskate [who doesn’t understand how MVNOs work]). Likewise for the CPG, retailer, and misc categories. The only one I don’t really understand (because it may not follow this model; it may be a purely short-term money grab while the grabbing is good) is the credit cards.

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