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Ad-ing up

Impressions, and spend, continue to swell.

Wheat paste.

Often under the cover of darkness and with their makeshift glue, bill posters would work their way across the city, coating walls and fences with paper billboards. Buildings were the ad platforms. Making the most of the real estate constraint meant covering every inch of the canvas.

Ads of course have changed - we see far fewer outdoor ads on facades, instead seeing more in our socials. And welp - are we ever seeing more ads.

Ad volume soared 44% on TikTok, 25% on YouTube, and 24% on Insta.

We’re the ones being wallpapered.

And brands are spending far more, too, pumping 64% more into TikTok, and  pouring 27% more into Insta ads. What are the chances Zuck has a secret scale model of Scrooge’s money pit?

It's easy - and accurate - to say that ads have changed. Today’s ads across social and content-led platforms are not the ads of our grandparents. But they do act similarly to a vehicle that they did rely on – direct response.

Direct response was always the (most) precisely measured and modeled means of driving business from those you knew (likely repeat customers).

Ads in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television aimed to attract more new business. Those ads of course aimed to solicit business too - but the audience was - on balance - less familiar with the brand and products. Ads were for attraction.

Ads boasted big budgets while DR fought for pennies, and generally required justification for any spend.

Ads and Direct response were complementary. DR was on the ground, with Ads giving air cover. DR pushed, Ads pulled.

So, the channels have changed, but the needs remain the same. Attract AND convert. 

One without the other is like Hall without Oates. Or, posters with no paste.

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