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The Bursting Social Media Advertising Bubble

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the cost-of-a-tweet dept.

Facebook 254

schwit1 writes One of the great "paradigms" of the New Normal tech bubble that supposedly differentiated it from dot com bubble 1.0 was that this time it was different, at least when it came to advertising revenues. The mantra went that unlike traditional web-based banner advertising which has been in secular decline over the past decade, social media ad spending — which the bulk of new tech company stalwarts swear is the source of virtually unlimited upside growth — was far more engaging, and generated far greater returns and better results for those spending billions in ad bucks on the new "social-networked" generation. Sadly, this time was not different after all, and this "paradigm" has also turned out to be one big pipe dream. According to the WSJ, citing Gallup, "62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions. Another 30% said it had some influence. U.S. companies spent $5.1 billion on social-media advertising in 2013, but Gallup says "consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content."

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Tuning it out? (5, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | about 3 months ago | (#47299947)

I'll say we're tuning it out. With AdBlock we don't even receive it.

Re:Tuning it out? (5, Insightful)

Anon, Not Coward D (2797805) | about 3 months ago | (#47300041)

i do use it... but i'd like to see statistics regarding how prevalent it's usage really is. I mean beyond the geek circle :)

my guess is that adbloc isn't really an issue (unless firefox and chrome make it a default plugin).

of course the point that marketing effect on consumer behavior is largely unconcious remains.. so that's the real handicap on this study

Re:Tuning it out? (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#47300305)

I agree, such tools are only going to be used by people who actively seek it out. I've never even seen adblock in the Firefox list of recommended add-ons. Maybe some companies turn it on by default (it saves a ton of bandwidth). But overall I'd be surprised if even 5% of users have it on those browsers that support.

Re:Tuning it out? (5, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 3 months ago | (#47300363)

of course the point that marketing effect on consumer behavior is largely unconcious remains.. so that's the real handicap on this study

This "study" is garbage. Most people have always said that advertising doesn't effect them. They said the same thing back in the days of TV, radio, and print. Poll results mean nothing. Web ads link to specific landing pages that allow the advertisers to track the source of the click, and track it to any eventual purchase. If the ads weren't paying, the advertisers wouldn't be running them.

My company runs web ads, and we know exactly which are working, and which aren't. Social media sites actually don't work well for us. Search engine text ads, triggered by specific search terms work much better. But social media ads appear to be working fine for many other advertisers.

Re:Tuning it out? (2)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 3 months ago | (#47300417)

Social Media advertising when it works well is often the users _wanting_ to partake in the brand they favor. Their was a really good recent documentary on the social media advertising world, both regarding products and people. For products most are already established brands that want to milk their following for potential expansion to the friends of the people who partake. For people it's all basically getting someone known to showcase people who are not yet known. 'Expanding circles' and all that.

The first works especially well for large brands... Movies, soft drinks, shoes, etc. The second works well for things like actors, singers, and others needing or wanting to be a celebrity. The second is also the reason for some of the 'youtube millionaires' and I don't exactly mean money, but some have gotten rather good amounts of money for becoming popular online.

Re:Tuning it out? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 3 months ago | (#47300055)

This site is about as social as i normally get. I had to turn the advertising off because it started throwing pop up in new windows.

Anyhow, when it was on, nothing interested me unless i was looking for something specific and it judt happened to be there. But in searches and crap like that, i go out of my way to avoid the advertising links or products unless it is something specific and they are yhe only providers. Slashvertisements on the other hand seems to work because when i need to solve a problrm, i generally remember something from an article here.

Re:Tuning it out? (2)

rsborg (111459) | about 3 months ago | (#47300163)

This site is about as social as i normally get. I had to turn the advertising off because it started throwing pop up in new windows.

The hope, I think, for advertisers and their customers, was that social media users were as gullible and low-info like TV watchers.
The problem they ignore is that the web is simply not designed for ads nearly as well as TV (though TiVO/DVR revolution is almost analogous to ad-block in it's dampening of ad spots), and the social media user base isn't nearly as comfortable with being spammed as TV users.

Part of me wonders whether advertising actually works, or is simply a formalized form of hidden bribery (i.e., ad company that has numerous large accounts simply paves the way for customers to work towards common goals anonymously). Of course, no one went broke overestimating the stupidity of people in large numbers.

Re:Tuning it out? (1)

machineghost (622031) | about 3 months ago | (#47300299)

Of course, no one went broke overestimating the stupidity of people in large numbers.

The Lone Ranger, John Carter, and Cowboys & Aliens might disagree with you on that ... though your point still remains mostly valid.

Re:Tuning it out? (2)

meerling (1487879) | about 3 months ago | (#47300111)

And the stuff that does get through pisses us off enough we often swear to never use that product.

Re:Tuning it out? (1)

Timothy Hartman (2905293) | about 3 months ago | (#47300129)

For the $50 promotional advertising credit I got with my dog's Facebook he pulled down 7,500 fans. Granted he is not a brand, but there is some effectiveness with them. I personally haven't used Facebook outside of the pages (which are naturally ad free), so I can't testify to the experience for those who do. I don't want to keep tabs on people, but Squinky demands fame.

Re:Tuning it out? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#47300141)

People learned to "tune out" ads on the radio more than 100 years ago. Then TV. Then (sadly) cable TV, which got its start by selling itself as "ad-free subscription television". Then internet.

Why business seem to keep thinking they can force people to pay attention to their ads is beyond my understanding. They have 100 years of practice NOT paying attention.

Re:Tuning it out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300209)

I pay attention to ads when they seem to be worthwhile. What you seem to be ignoring is the fact that there's levels of attention. Just because you think you're not paying attention and being influenced doesn't mean that you are free from such influences. Advertising works quite well.

The problem though is that online ads and social networking sites are easy to avoid completely. If you're skipping through ads with a DVR, you're still seeing the ads, you won't get the full effect, but most of those ads were probably not targeted at you anyways.

Ultimately, if you think you need to be paying attention to ads in order to be influenced you're sorely mistaken.

Re:Tuning it out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300227)

Advertising works quite well.

On certain people.

Ultimately, if you think you need to be paying attention to ads in order to be influenced you're sorely mistaken.

Ultimately, that's an utterly irrelevant point. There, you've been influenced by my post and you agree with me 100% in your heart of hearts. If you say otherwise, you're deluding yourself.

Re:Tuning it out? (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#47300317)

Advertising works quite well.

On certain people.

Exactly. Certainly it does work on certain people, or they wouldn't still be spending money on it after so many years. But other people -- many, many other people -- are not so easily influenced.

Don't try to tell me what influences me and what doesn't. I am very familiar with my own buying habits, and advertising has very little to do with them. Advertising might clue me in to the existence of a product that I otherwise did not know about, but before buying I get my information from other sources.

Most of the time, advertising influences me negatively! I often (usually, in fact) say to myself, "Looks like an over-priced POS". I've been fooled that way, too, and later decided (after I learned more) that it was a decent product after all and might be worth having. But that didn't come from the commercial ad. More often, I buy something because I saw one that someone else had and I see that it's well-made or works well.

Re:Tuning it out? (2)

Drethon (1445051) | about 3 months ago | (#47300217)

I don't use it at home, I just tune out. I use adblock at work to get rid of those annoying "IT has blocked this facebook ad because..." that are a hundred times larger than the original ad.

Re:Tuning it out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300223)

62% of U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions.

People aren't necessarily good at judging this sort of thing. And if you're stupid enough to spend time on worthless crap like Facebook and Twitter, you probably aren't as clever as you think you are.

Companies wouldn't be spendng $5 Billion on ads if they weren't getting a return on it.

Re:Tuning it out? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 3 months ago | (#47300233)

I only use AdBlock when the advertising gets abusive.
Music, live video, full screen popups. For the normal stuff I let it pass. I am going to the web site for some content I want to get, and maintaining a website isn't free. As well I don't want to pay to view the site, so I will take most adds as a fair trade.

Re:Tuning it out? (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#47300371)

You already pay for your bw.. why should you pay for theirs?

Re:Tuning it out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300237)

I'll say we're tuning it out. With AdBlock we don't even receive it.

You are a thief. You are stealing their service by doing that. If you don't want the ads, stop going there.

Re:Tuning it out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300245)

Never mind, I take it back. It's A-OK!

Re:Tuning it out? (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#47300395)

If you want to force people into it, then put your content behind a paywall. Then you will find out what it is really worth. If you leave it open on a public facing server, you are implicitly offering it. The internet is not cable tv. You don't get to dictate what happens to your content inside computers that do not belong to you.

Re:Tuning it out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300243)

I wonder how much money is actually spent on ads vs. sneakier ways of promoting products - such as fake reviews, or even real reviews where a shitload of journalists get wined & dined then all mysteriously heap praise on a certain product.

Also throw in PR companies trolling discussion boards while we're at it.

Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (5, Insightful)

rastos1 (601318) | about 3 months ago | (#47299957)

62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions.

Are the customers able to recognize whether they got influenced? I thought that current advertising methods are predominantly trying to influence subconsciousness rather then consciousness decisions.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47299989)

Are the customers able to recognize whether they got influenced?

Why not? If their buying patterns remain unchanged regardless of what ads they see, then probably.

I thought that current advertising methods are predominantly trying to influence subconsciousness rather then consciousness decisions.

Much of psychology is bad science to begin with, so you can't trust any such studies.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300213)

Are the customers able to recognize whether they got influenced?

Why not? If their buying patterns remain unchanged regardless of what ads they see, then probably.

Problem is, most people will say this when we know it isn't true. We know as a documented fact that advertising do work as influence, even when (perhaps best when) you don't know it as a consumer/buyer.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300251)

Are the customers able to recognize whether they got influenced?

Why not? If their buying patterns remain unchanged regardless of what ads they see, then probably.

Problem is, most people will say this when we know it isn't true. We know as a documented fact that advertising do work as influence, even when (perhaps best when) you don't know it as a consumer/buyer.

Case in point: Most Apple-buyers will credit the quality, design and "just works" aspect of Apple products as reason for their choice, but Apple has and continue to invest an insane amount of marketing dollars in establishing exactly this perception. And, a significant amount of the Apple marketing dollars are actually targeted at customers that just bought the product, eg. they already won them, but by continuing to influence their feeling of having made the right choice, the users become more happy with their choice and more likely to recommend to others and buy again.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (4, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47300005)

Which is why advertising is a poison to society and must be destroyed. The set of advertising that is tolerable: (i.e. makes you think "That is an excellent point and I should reconsider my purchasing") is so heavily outpaced by the kind that's hellbent on being emotionally and psychologically manipulative to get you to do things against your own interest that it would be entirely acceptable collateral damage in my opinion.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (-1, Flamebait)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47300045)

so you're the fool buying carbon credits, a tesla and lots of green labeled craP?

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#47300265)

Nothing wrong with Tesla, if you can afford the price. And the price is directly attributable to manufacturing costs (high battery cost, for example). You can do a lot worse in Detroit and Tokyo.

But I agree with the rest of your comment. Lots of it is crap. Sturgeon's Law applies here.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 3 months ago | (#47300085)

I agree precisely with your angst.

Unfortunately, I've never hear a seemingly viable proposal for how to solve the problem. My conclusion always keeps coming back to "buyer beware" as the best policy. Although I'd say that the more (literally) compelling advertising becomes, the more radical the solutions that are probably warranted.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about 3 months ago | (#47300263)

My own personal solution is to remove as much advertising from everything I can(screw your financial viability if that's what you depend on), and to avoid every single brand name I can on all occasions where possible.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300267)

> Unfortunately, I've never hear a seemingly viable proposal for how to solve the problem.

Artificial intelligence. I'm not joking, this is a job that is ripe for a computer to do the filtering for you.

Today we have blunt intstruments like adblock, ghostery, noscript and requestpolicy. But we also have pseudo-intelligent agents like spam-assassin [apache.org] and NoMoRobo. [nomorobo.com] The inevitable result is an arms-race of ever more sophisticated ad-filtering and more sophisticated evasion methods. But at some point the methods of evasion overwhelm the message of the ad in the first place (who hasn't received one of those uber cryptic emails that, if you even bother, take you 10 minutes to figure out what they are even trying to sell you? It was cryptic enough to get past the spam filter but it had to be useless to do so.) I'd like to see a future where we all have an "ai personal assistant" who filters everything for us. You could wear the equivalent of google-glass but instead of showing you ads, it would overlay billboards and signs with lolcats.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (1)

taustin (171655) | about 3 months ago | (#47300369)

From what little attention I pay to ads, the current model seems to be one of two approaches:

"Our products are for mentally retarded halfwits, so if you're stupid you should buy it."

or

"Give us money or you'll die, your children will die, and someone will kick your dog."

The former seems to be more prevalent among non-staple consumer goods. The latter is nearly universal for TV news programs and web sites.

Both are insulting to the intelligence, but not nearly as insulting as the fact that they work.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300007)

Well, "From the companies from the list below, which have you bought products from in the last 6 months?"

Then a portion of the companes listed would be among those who advertised on FB. Doesn't seem that difficult, at least, in theory.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (0)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47300039)

this is done by celebs and models. your platonic female friend or booty call probably won't influence you to buy anything because of her facebook posts
  i like my kindle app and this one person i know she loves the Nook along with another of my facebook friends. and there is no way you can get me to buy the nook over an ipad mini

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300229)

Sounds like you're not the target market for Nooks. I'm not really sure why anybody buys those color ereaders, they're too underpowered to compete with a proper tablet, but they lack the eink display that a good ereader has. So, you wind up with the worst of both worlds.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300151)

I agree that the study is debatable, but at the same time, duh!

I've been saying this for a while, but here goes - again.

Google's on a great thing because when people go there, they're looking for something. Just have to give them ads for those cases where they're looking for something to buy. Job done.
Traditional media, that's harder, the viewer/reader/whatever is not currently interested in the product. But at least he/she is somewhat interested in the rest - otherwise he/she'd be doing something else.
On "social media", the user is already primed to ignore a good half of what pops up that he/she doesn't actually care about. So ads... Right.

As for the whole "big data" crap, "we have so much information we can target ads right on to the buyer", yeah, right. The best google can do, and they have access to my search history, my email, my bills, is serve me ads for stuff I bought a month ago. Better luck next time with your "targeting".

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 3 months ago | (#47300287)

I need something that has a poor selection or can't be found locally... Google would be the only place I have ever clicked on an add and bought an item... I was also specifically searching for it though.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (4, Informative)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 3 months ago | (#47300187)

Good point. I remember the '60's, and the radio jingles. I was just a kid then, but some of the jingles would stick in my head. Talked to someone who knew about such things, and he told me that even if it pissed me off, the advertisers thought it was a "GOOD THING" when those jingles stuck.

Now, today, I don't see advertising. I know that advertising doesn't influence me. I just don't see it.

When I need or want something, I get online, and start researching. I find a hundred products that claim to do what I need, so I narrow it down some. Compare some specs, and decide which of the specs really feel right to me. Is precision more important, or durability? Do I need tensile strength, abrasion resistance, or what do I need? Find some products with the specs I can live with. Finally, look at the prices. HOLY SHITE!! Reject the highest priced 25% right off the bat. Compare the specs again. Hell, those cheap things barely squeak in to the acceptability picture. I'm usually left with a half dozen or less products to choose from - at this point it's a matter of deciding whether to take the high or low end of the price spectrum.

Research pays off. When I finally get my stuff, it actually works for whatever I need. And, I usually got it for about 60% of whatever my workmates found their substandard items for.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#47300257)

62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions.

Are the customers able to recognize whether they got influenced? I thought that current advertising methods are predominantly trying to influence subconsciousness rather then consciousness decisions.

Exactly. The typical ad campaign gets people to say "Dove Soap!" as many times as possible online. So then you're standing in the supermarket, trying to pick soap and "Dove" seems familiar to you... so you buy it. You likely don't even remember the reason you heard it before is some crazy dude made a wax sculpture of a a polar bear out of dove soap bars and it was a meme that got liked 100x in your feed a few weeks ago.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (0)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 months ago | (#47300281)

You must be a marketer.

You know what? When I go to the store, I have a shopping list. I buy the things on that list, and I go home. Unless there's a topless chick offering free personal services if I buy her soap brand, I won't be buying it no matter how many times I saw it mentioned on Facebook lately.

But, hey, keep claiming that your adverts work by magic 'fluence if you like. It's either that or back to the dole queue on Monday morning.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (4, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 3 months ago | (#47300375)

You selected your soap, toothpaste, laundry detergent when you were a teen or younger (you just use your parents band).

The fact that you are no longer 'in play' doesn't mean you are brand immune.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 3 months ago | (#47300409)

You know what? When I go to the store, I have a shopping list. I buy the things on that list, and I go home

So you pre-pick the brand of soap your going to buy?

My shopping list usually just says 'soap'... sometimes I just write or 'teeth' to jog my memory when I'm at the store that I need toothpaste and floss rather than write them out individually.

Or I'll write 'snacks thursday' to remember to buy some chips, veggies, dips, m&m's and drinks for Thurs (when, for example, my brother and his wife are coming over)... i'll pick the actual snacks based on what's on sale and what strikes my mood while I'm in the store... and it might even result in me bringing home some new flavor of chips, or whatever that I might have heard about somewhere.

Re:Are customer able to evaulate that objectively? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 3 months ago | (#47300397)

This. The only thing that that statistics should tell is that customers are still too aware of the ads (from the advertisers view), and that they need to keep trying to raise that statistic. That said, a majority of people unaware of advertisers influence on them is not bad, I wonder how it compares to TV viewers?

Anyone else getting Bullshit Oakley Sunglasses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47299963)

...ads that falsely tag one of your friends in it?

I keep reporting those as spam and they keep showing up...

No one is ever influenced by advertising (4, Insightful)

Minupla (62455) | about 3 months ago | (#47299973)

No one is ever influenced by advertising, ask around. People say "no, I'd never buy something because it's on TV" but those infomercials stay in business for a reason.

So polling people and asking them if advertising is effective on them is a bit of a red herring. Like IQ tests - logically half the world has IQs less then 100. Oddly, I've never met any of them.

Now the question 'is social advertising effective' is certainly open for debate, but not because some survey says people believe it's not effective on themselves.

Min

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300025)

No one is ever influenced by advertising, ask around. People say "no, I'd never buy something because it's on TV" but those infomercials stay in business for a reason.

I wonder if the FBI hired psychic detectives for a reason, too. Or do you think that because some ineffective practices, it means they're effective? Or maybe they're just not ineffective enough to completely fail.

Like IQ tests - logically half the world has IQs less then 100.

And also like IQ tests, it's bad science.

Now the question 'is social advertising effective' is certainly open for debate, but not because some survey says people believe it's not effective on themselves.

Yes.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300271)

IQ tests aren't bad science. I take from your assertion that you're one of those people with an IQ under a hundred. IQ tests are accurate at what they're measuring, provided you don't try to compare the results across cultural lines.

The big issue with IQ tests isn't the tests themselves, but rather the ignorance that people have over their purpose and what they actually measure. IQ is a measure of fluid intelligence as in how easily a person learns new facts. It's not a measure of crystalized intelligence which is also valuable as that's the intelligence that represents experience. Ideally a person would have a lot of both as you need experience and the ability to learn new things to work effectively.

IQ is also a very narrow measure of intellect that doesn't necessarily include everything that's relevant. The scores themeselves are less of a problem than the issues that arise from knowing that you're smarter than most other people.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300079)

Like IQ tests - logically half the world has IQs less then 100. Oddly, I've never met any of them.

They are all this side of the world - at the office, on the streets, in the malls, on television and newspaper offices, even in government.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (2)

danomatika (1977210) | about 3 months ago | (#47300145)

The point of advertising is not to sell products but to promote their existence. Laugh all you want at the Ronco Rotisserie Chicken machines or Ginzu knives, but we *all* know them. I find myself preferring name brands simply because I've just seen their logos and heard their names before. That's what advertising is for.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (1)

jeIlomizer (3670951) | about 3 months ago | (#47300173)

Laugh all you want at the Ronco Rotisserie Chicken machines or Ginzu knives, but we *all* know them.

We do? I certainly didn't.

I find myself preferring name brands simply because I've just seen their logos and heard their names before.

That seems rather silly, if that's your only reason.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (1)

danomatika (1977210) | about 3 months ago | (#47300189)

I find myself preferring name brands simply because I've just seen their logos and heard their names before.

That seems rather silly, if that's your only reason.

It's totally silly. I'm not defending advertising or supporting it. I'm ashamedly acknowledging it's effect on myself. I certainly don't like it! It's gotten to all of us to certain degrees. If we don't recognize what that extent is, were truly doomed.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300171)

I is not affected by advertising!
(oh... facebook icon... I should go check my facebook page for updates...)

Advertising is very influential (2)

mozumder (178398) | about 3 months ago | (#47300203)

Are you an idiot? Because you must be, since advertising is very influential. The entire global economy revolves around it. Every single dollar revolves around some form of advertising.

It must cause your head to explode when you find out people actually BUY newspapers and magazines BECAUSE of the ads, or when they watch random teams in the Superbowl BECAUSE of the ads...

Don't be a douchebag libertarian narcissist that thinks their lives are above influence by others.

"I am so awesome that advertising has no effect on me."

Introverted libertarian narcissist geeks such as yourself are the worst. Your narcissism prevents you from understanding how the real world operates, where advertising is actually DESIRED, because people are interested in other people's lives, and becoming like those people.

Unlike you, where you're stuck comfortably in the awesomeness of your own life, but you don't know about your low social status, or complain about how other awesome people are actually somehow not awesome? hah.

Given all that, social media advertising itself is a terrible concept, because it goes against the basic nature of how advertising and marketing and marketing works. Mainly, the rule of life that says people want to associate themselves with people more powerful than themselves.

Why would a brand place their ad next to a picture of your friend from high-school throwing up, when they can place their brand's ad next to an awesome picture of Kate Moss in Vogue? Or next to an awesome sports figure on ESPN (the most valuable media property in the world)?

If you understand that, THEN you understand how advertising really works, and how influential it actually is. Understand this rule, and you can pretty much make any brand.

Of course, the libertarian narcissist douchebag doesn't understand that other people are higher power than them (because obviously their narcissistic disorder causes them to think they're just too awesome themselves) so this basic fundamental of advertising flies right over their head.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300225)

You've never met someone with an IQ less than 100? That must be nice....

Yeah Coke isn't a billion times tastier than other (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 3 months ago | (#47300235)

Yes indeed. People will SAY that advertising doesn't affect them. Then they immediately put on their Nike shoes to head to McDonald's for a Coke.

Coke isn't a billion times tastier than Joe's cola. It sells a billion times as much because it's been advertised a billion times as much.

Re:Yeah Coke isn't a billion times tastier than ot (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 3 months ago | (#47300315)

Coke isn't a billion times tastier than Joe's cola. It sells a billion times as much because it's been advertised a billion times as much.

It sells a billion times better because it's available just about everywhere and people know that it tastes like crap, but they don't know whether Joe-Bob's Home Cola tastes better or is recycled pig slurry. Joe-Bob could spend billions advertising Joe-Bob's Recycled Pig-Slurry Cola, and it still wouldn't sell as well as Coke does.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 3 months ago | (#47300277)

Well the Samsung adds influenced me to buy a Galaxy S5... after I did a ton of research and found no Motorola or LG phones that looks quite good enough and do not want an iOS device doing anything but playing music.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 3 months ago | (#47300381)

Like IQ tests - logically half the world has IQs less then 100. Oddly, I've never met any of them.

Every time I see this, I think it's important to remind everyone that because of the way IQ scores work, you can raise your own IQ simply by killing people smarter than you.

Re:No one is ever influenced by advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300393)

>Oddly, I've never met any of them.

Lucky you.

I have met my unfair share of absolutely downright retarded people that are probably well below even 80.
People so dumb they should physically be incapable of not swallowing their own tongue 5 times a day.

The worst part is so many dumb people are not dumb due to education, not dumb due to culture or society, but dumb because they are lazy as absolute hell and have just mentally rotted over even as little as 5 years. Anything over that is just a blackhole they are never coming back from unless they get external help, which they very rarely do if they are living alone / away from parents at least.
So you end up with a society of braindead zombies.
And that is just when they are happy-ish, which is rare. God forbid you meet these people when they are drunk or pissed off, you can feel it without even knowing the person. You can taste their awfulness from a distance. (I promise I am not an agent of the Matrix)
People so bitter that it makes you uncomfortable.

Consider yourself very lucky, very lucky indeed.

Two things every bubble has in common... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47299977)

1. It's always different this time.

2. It's not different this time.

Re:Two things every bubble has in common... (0)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47300015)

yeah, but this time we have real eyeballs. not the fake ones from 14 years ago

Re:Two things every bubble has in common... (1)

GNious (953874) | about 3 months ago | (#47300125)

or, with AdBlock et al, we have no eyeballs, instead of the fake ones :)

Re:Two things every bubble has in common... (1)

IwantToKeepAnon (411424) | about 3 months ago | (#47300387)

3. No profit :(

Why "Sadly"? (5, Insightful)

unamiccia (641291) | about 3 months ago | (#47299991)

Why can't we celebrate how the Internet continues to resist freighting information with advertising? That's one of its best attributes.

What do you think "secular" means? (1, Interesting)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 3 months ago | (#47299993)

I'm genuinely curious, because that word does not fit in that sentence.

Re:What do you think "secular" means? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300011)

English lets words have multiple meanings [wikipedia.org] . Even ones that don't make sense.

Re:What do you think "secular" means? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#47300285)

Actually, given the etymology, it looks like English pulled the two meanings straight from Latin, where their association made slightly more sense. Had we not fallen into 1500-ish years of pounding latinate monotheism, this sense of 'secular' might actually have been the more prominent...

Re:What do you think "secular" means? (5, Informative)

hendrips (2722525) | about 3 months ago | (#47300261)

In English, it means "from age to age" or "generational." This meaning is actually older than the meaning you're probably thinking of.

It ultimately comes from the Etruscan word saeculum, via Latin. In Etruscan & Latin, it meant the amount of time needed for a complete renewal of the human population, and if I'm remembering correctly, it was eventually standardized at 110 years.

I believe that all Romance languages use some variant on seculo as their word for century.

maybe because people are different? (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#47300001)

i know single people who are always going out to bars
single people hacking away on tech
married no kids who are always chilling out somewhere
and lots of other kinds of people

why would i want to buy everything they buy? even then you can have a group of a dozen girls and some will have expensive and snobby crap, others wal mart crap, others the hipster overpriced crap, etc

Tune out? (1)

Moof123 (1292134) | about 3 months ago | (#47300013)

Heck I tend to hold a grudge against companies that stick themselves in the middle of family pictures, or who are clearly trying to hide their ads as content.

I think in general there is much more ad revenue being spent than the results can justify, but perhaps the rest of society is far more gullible than I give them credit for?

The article actually made two points (4, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 months ago | (#47300059)

1.) Social media advertising isn't as effective as advertisers hoped.

2.) Social media can be mined for data about your products, what people think of them, and overall opinions about your company. It is also a tool for engaging with customers.

Point 2 is much more useful to companies that 1; which means the real money in Twitter et. al. is data mining, not advertising.

Re:The article actually made two points (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 3 months ago | (#47300167)

Data mining and intercepting bad company experiences and "making good" on them. For example, we had something delivered via UPS. The driver left it on our front step, didn't ring the doorbell, and just left. It sat out there for hours before we realized it was there. The package could have easily been stolen during that time and neither UPS nor I would have known until it was much too late. We complained on Twitter and UPS contacted us in an attempt to find out what went wrong and how they could improve their policies.

I think this is the real usefulness for companies on social media. Spot bad experiences, help minimize bad PR by helping those customers, and minimize future bad PR by fixing those problems before more customers are affected.

Re:The article actually made two points (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 months ago | (#47300195)

Data mining and intercepting bad company experiences and "making good" on them. For example, we had something delivered via UPS. The driver left it on our front step, didn't ring the doorbell, and just left. It sat out there for hours before we realized it was there. The package could have easily been stolen during that time and neither UPS nor I would have known until it was much too late. We complained on Twitter and UPS contacted us in an attempt to find out what went wrong and how they could improve their policies.

I think this is the real usefulness for companies on social media. Spot bad experiences, help minimize bad PR by helping those customers, and minimize future bad PR by fixing those problems before more customers are affected.

Should have used FedEx.

Seriously, I agree with you. The ability to learn about and fix problems can be a powerful tool to build customer good well and retention. Social media can supply a vast amount of near real time feedback on who you are perceived as well as alert you to bad (and good) customer experiences.

Slashdot should get some editors (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | about 3 months ago | (#47300065)

"Why" "is" "Paradigm" "in" "quotes"? Secular? WTF is secular decline? Is that as opposed to ecclesiastical decline?

Re:Slashdot should get some editors (1)

Threni (635302) | about 3 months ago | (#47300199)

Quotes suggest "we know this is a bullshit word, but we're going to use it anyway". I have no idea what secular decline is, though.

Re:Slashdot should get some editors (2)

hendrips (2722525) | about 3 months ago | (#47300289)

Secular as in "generational" or "over long periods of time." It's a perfectly valid use of that word, if a bit uncommon. In fact, that meaning of secular is much, much older than the (non)religious meaning you're thinking of.

Just like old Telco (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300067)

If I want to buy new windows (for example) for my home I will google it and figure out who to call from there.

Now leave me alone with your BS advertisements - like telco in the past - you are just annoying the majority...

Not to mention in my 40+ years of existence, I've not known a single person who actually purchased something from a telemarketer.

The difference. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 3 months ago | (#47300083)

but Gallup says "consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content."

I go one step further. I tune out Facebook and Twitter entirely, not just brand-related content.

Ads supporting ads (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#47300095)

Lots of sites have ads that go to other sites which are ad supported. Many of these sites have ads for each other. It's like a big pyramid scheme.

AdBlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300097)

Best buying decision I ever made.

Or just beating my eyes to death... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300107)

Or just beating our eyes and ears to death with constantly flashing, jumping, rumbling, obnoxious advertisements made most of us capable of tuning it out. So it was their own fault, back to the drawing boards.

Banner Ads in Decline? (2)

slashkitty (21637) | about 3 months ago | (#47300121)

Not in decline and certainly not for over a decade. They have been going up in both volume and price. Look at google's revenue numbers, of which a big portion is banner ads. Sure, they might not be the buzz word of the day, but banner ads still rule.

Straw man much? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 3 months ago | (#47300135)

>> which the bulk of new tech company stalwarts swear is the source of virtually unlimited upside growth

schwit1, are you one of POTUS's speechwriters in your day job?

"Secular decline" (4, Funny)

Rick Zeman (15628) | about 3 months ago | (#47300139)

As opposed to a holy increase as in "Holy shit, we're actually making money with these ads?"

Spectacular, perhaps?

Re:"Secular decline" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300273)

Wiktionary's [wiktionary.org] sense #5 is "Continuing over a long period of time, long-term."

Must tune out ads (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 3 months ago | (#47300159)

Otherwise you can't get anything done online.

Color me thoroughly unsurprised (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 3 months ago | (#47300161)

"Unlimited upward potential", right... There's only so much advertising budget to go around; companies will shift some of it from traditional media to social / online ads. The actual upward potential comes from serving the long tail: small firms that cannot afford to pay traditional media ads, or larger firms that are willing to spend more on advertising if it turns out to be more effective. Or an advertisment arms race. But even that only goes so far.

Sample size of 18K? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 3 months ago | (#47300165)

http://www.gallup.com/poll/171... [gallup.com] is what this report is based on.

Survey Methods These results are based on a Gallup Panel Web and mail study of 18,525 U.S. adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Dec. 12, 2012, to Jan. 22, 2013. All surveys were completed in English. The Gallup Panel is a probability-based longitudinal panel of U.S. adults who are selected using random-digit-dial (RDD) telephone interviews that cover landline and cellphone telephone numbers. Address-based sampling methods are also used to recruit panel members. The Gallup Panel is not an opt-in panel, and members are not given incentives for participating. The sample for this study was weighted to be demographically representative of the U.S. adult population, using 2012 Current Population Survey figures. For results based on this sample, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point at the 95% confidence level. Margins of error are higher for subsamples. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error and bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

18000 is a very high number for phone interviews. I think most were internet polls. So 18000 people who clicked on and took a survey while casually surfing said they are not influenced by social media? If such click-any-dialog-that-pops-up-randomly people are not influenced by social media, what about the people who are actually skeptical of the "series of tubes"?

people don't know themselves very well (4, Insightful)

MooseTick (895855) | about 3 months ago | (#47300177)

"According to the WSJ, citing Gallup, "62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions."

I suspect most people would answer a poll saying advertising NEVER influences their buying decisions. Independent analysis may prove otherwise. Coke, GM, or whoever don't spend billions on advertising because they think it helps. They have done lots of tests and analysis, and they know it helps. Sure, lots of advertising is a waste. But targetted advertising at the right time and place can have a ROI.

People don't understand branding. (5, Informative)

gurps_npc (621217) | about 3 months ago | (#47300179)

Look, there are two basic kinds of advertisement:

Informational: This is what most people think advertising is all about. It provides you with information about a product. It might be telling you a new product exists, or just a new flavor/kind of an existing product. It might tell you about what it does, or the price, at heart it is simple and easy to understand - people can't buy it if they don't know about it.

Branding: This type of advertisement is not about information, it is about a feeling. It's what most of those 'cool' superbowl ads are trying to do. It's why Coca-cola and Apple keeps advertising (everybody already knows about Coca-Cola and they rarely talk about price/new products). This is about creating the feeling that this product is the kind of product that people like you buy. It also makes people believe the product is higher quality, because look, they can afford to advertise. (which also implies they have insurance to pay out if they accidentally put lead pain in your toothpaste, as opposed to that store brand you never see on TV).

Because lay people don't understand branding, they routinely underestimate the value of advertising.

Ad overload (4, Insightful)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 3 months ago | (#47300219)

The reason the bubble is bursting is no doubt another case of ad overload. It's a cat-and-mouse game that's been going on forever - advertisers flood a given communication medium with advertisements and people find a way around it. TVs have things like the DVR (and earlier the VCR), one of the key selling points of which is being able to record a show and fast-forward through the commercials. There's also the TV culture of using commercials as a time to get a snack, go to the bathroom, or do something else and then come back afterward.

The internet is becoming the same way. First it was pop-up and pop-under ads, which caused all of the mainstream browser developers to implement pop-up blockers as an integrated component of the browser. Sure, they're not 100% effective and many advertisers have tried to find workarounds for it (such as ads embedded into the website layout that cover content unless clicked away) but for the most part, the pop-up is nowhere near as effective as it used to be.

The same thing is happening for banner and flash ads. In the days when Internet Explorer had near-100% market share, it was comparatively difficult to install an ad blocker, as most of them came as third-party programs that had to be installed separately. Now, most of the major browsers (IE still doesn't to the best of my knowledge) have a modding interface that allows for easy installation of things like Adblock.

Advertisers have to learn how to advertise smart, rather than try to be as intrusive as possible.

This is no surprise to me... (1)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 3 months ago | (#47300239)

First off, I just instinctively turn off ads that I see in a browser. They are nothing more than an annoyance to me. Secondly, FB and Twitter are full of fake profiles.

George Carlin said it best... (5, Insightful)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 3 months ago | (#47300249)

"Every time you're exposed to advertising in America, you're reminded that this country's most profitable business is still the manufacture, packaging, distribution and marketing of bullshit. High quality, grade-A, prime-cut pure American bullshit."

Tuning out (1)

dragon-file (2241656) | about 3 months ago | (#47300291)

"consumers are highly adept at tuning out brand-related Facebook and Twitter content."

Or better yet, just not going to those sites at all.

What's the Influence of Crappy Polling? (4, Insightful)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 3 months ago | (#47300365)

62% of the more than 18,000 U.S. consumers it polled said social media had no influence on their buying decisions.

I hate polls that take some factual statement that is either objectively true or isn't, and then ask people whether they think it's true, as if that tells us anything about the factual matter rather than just the biases of the poll sample.

Social media advertising either influences or it doesn't. And it will influence or it won't regardless of whether zero, half, or all of the country thinks it does.

I'd like the whole advertising economy to go poof (2)

argStyopa (232550) | about 3 months ago | (#47300399)

....since I suspect it's based more on consensual delusions & back-scratching within the industry than actual data.

Does Nike *actually* get $3 million more profit if they have a superbowl ad, than if they didn't? If they don't, then do they really need to pay that cutie-pie that is the assistant to the assistant director $85k/year to fetch donuts and sort the mail? Or the still photographer an annualized contract rate of $160k/year to shoot the 'making of the commercial' art book pictures? Aside from the shlubs who sling lights and mikes and do the tech work, the media industry is generally staggeringly overcompensated. I wonder when someone will notice?

"Secular Decline" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47300401)

WTF does that even mean?

Just like most advertising. (2)

superdave80 (1226592) | about 3 months ago | (#47300425)

Most advertising doesn't really affect buying decisions. Sometimes you might see something new, but mostly it's Coke, Budwiser, etc., things that everyone has known about for decades.

The funniest online ads I see are when I search for or buy something... and then see an ad for that exact thing a few minutes later on some sidebar ad. Hey, dipshits, I already know about that thing you just advertised BECAUSE I JUST WENT ONLINE TO LOOK FOR IT AND BUY IT!

This is a little bit like paying someone to hold up a sign for Ford cars to show to people that have just left a Ford car lot.

Who is actually influenced by ads?? (2)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 3 months ago | (#47300433)

I honestly don't understand the effectiveness of advertising, but that's just because I ignore most of it, and of the stuff that gets put in front of me, none of it influences a single purchase decision I make. I would much rather see a product for myself or rely on a non-sponsored recommendation from an acquaintance.

It boggles my mind that there are humans that are controllable enough to fall for the "Oooo, here's an ad!" --> "Let's click on it!" --> "Psychologically engaging content designed to sell me something" --> "Let's buy that!" chain of events. It must work, otherwise there wouldn't be a whole science behind advertising / consumer psychology, but I don't get it.

It seems to me that if you have a good product, it will sell itself and all you need to do is get a few people to try and recommend it to their friends. If you can do that, then you're just wasting money on traditional ads. Everybody knows Rice Krispies exist, and some people find them tasty. Why does Kellogg's have to tell the world over and over again that they exist?

Oh well, I'm not looking forward to the 40+% drop in stock market values that's coming with the next bubble pop, but I guess that's the way the new new economy goes.

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