Apple and Intelligent Advertising


A decade ago, in his book, “Total Access”, McKenna wrote that advertisers in the 21st century had to engage consumers, not just throw material at them.   The latter is called the “Push” model of advertising.  It requires little thought and, frankly, is more likely to irritate consumers than to sell anything.

However, the Push model is very much alive.  With online shopping, you see it when you look for an item, don’t buy it, and then have that item presented to you repeatedly in other contexts.

Advertisers think:  you looked for it, maybe if we pitch it the right way, you’ll buy it.

You think:  I decided I didn’t like it.  Leave me alone!

Push ads gum up networks, slow the display of web pages and in research have low recall rates.  Basically, they don’t work very well.  The risk to the brand is that people will consider it a nuisance.  Of course, web ad agencies don’t tell their clients that.

Apple is trying to change the game for mobile advertising, by providing an ad blocker for its iPhone.  The software is expected this month, as is a new model of the iPhone.  The software permits users to block mobile ads, potentially speeding up their web surfing experiences, games, etc.

What Apple is doing is a clash of business models.  Apple makes money on its phones.  Google gives the phone revenue to Android manufacturers and makes money on ads.  If Apple is successful, Google may take a big financial hit.  Poor baby.

What Apple also is doing is forcing smart advertisers to pay attention to the concept of engagement.  If you are engaged with a brand, you will want to received information from the brand and you’ll welcome it.  If you are not engaged, you’ll block.

That’s something every blogger knows.   Why does it seem so hard for pharma and car companies to figure that out?

Bottom line:  McKenna is right and Apple is smacking people upside the head and telling them to pay attention.  Absolutely brilliant.

For me, I have an Alcatel android phone which provides slow and clutzy web access.  The ad blocker will move me happily into Apple.

I’m looking forward to the Apple event on September 9th.

The American Way of Death


According to a report this morning in the New York Times, American cities are seeing a massive increase in murder rates in 2015 over 2014.  What’s massive?  Baltimore now has more murders this year to date than NYC, up 56% from this time in 2014.

The Times writer reports that officials cannot agree on a reason for the uptick in violence.  Really.  That seems so disingenuous, so CYA.

Milwaukee tops the list with a 76% increase in murders.  That’s the state where Gov. Scott Walker (yes, one of the GOP dwarves seeking the presidential nomination) has been cutting jobs programs and assistance for the needy.  St. Louis is #2, then Baltimore.  Conversely, the largest cities with solid social safety nets — NYC and Philly — have much lower growth rates (9% and 4% respectively).

No, the pols don’t want to explain what’s happening, do they?  Nor does the NRA.

Look at the absurdity.  We lost approximately 3,000 people in the 9/11 attacks and have spent trillions trying to ensure they don’t recur.

However, according the the CDC, Americans kill 11,600 other Americans using firearms EVERY YEAR.

I guess its ok for Americans to be killed as long as it is other Americans doing the killing?  How else would you interpret the data?