There’s a lot of talk about native advertising and content marketing. It has been so for a long while. Benefits are presented on regular basis. I am sure it is efficient, I can read the numbers. But it requires that your target audience are able to stand those self-prententious stories and that they are stupid enough to believe everything you tell them on a bought space.

But if you even suspect that your audience have humor and whits, you might reconsider the native/storytelling -strategy. People that can think for themselves usually want to keep it that way – and humor will be the safe passage to their heart (and wallet).

Therefore, make sure to KNOW your audience. Not as birthdates, genders and ZIP-codes. Know them as human beings. Use your empathy and put yourself in their position. Find the right knowledge before you start. And go from there.

In a study done by 24-Gruppen in Sweden it has been said that 85% of the men in the age between 16 and 24 had adblockers installed on their browser. At the same time Instagram introduces ads and at least in Sweden the responsible of that initiative claims that “people are not tired of advertising per se, they are just tired of irrelevant advertising.” By that we are suppose to understand that all we have to do is relevant ads.

But the whole idea of advertising is to be one step ahead of the customer. To show something that he or she haven’t thought of. Wether that is the idea itself or what it sells, doesn’t matter. Good advertising makes itself relevant. We didn’t know that Red Bull could give us wings before they surprised us with that fact. And how relevant was Old Spice before the man who smells like a man should smell like told us that everything is possible? And what American man in the early 60′s knew that to think small was the new black, until an ugly German car told them so?

Relevant advertising is just information. The need is already awake inside the customer and now it is down to best value for money. Basic marketing my friends.

So skip the engineering with trying to figure out when to reach who with what. They are all tired to pieces to skip you in the flow and to hunt that X in the corner that gives them back their screen. Surprise them! Engage them! Be there first. Be the one.

Make yourself relevant.

“The media world is in shock” it says, as Apple declares that ad-blockers will be integrated in the Safari web-browser on the iOS 9.

Well, what could be more natural? Media, media agencies and ad agencies have all been putting their creativity on how to take over my screen. A strategy used by porn sites in the 90′s. ¬†If they instead knew how to engage the user a ad-blocker wouldn’t have been necessary. Now it is. It really is.

Even as an advitiser I don’t like ads that takes over my screen. I chase that “X” that closes the window – and I tell you…I don’t see the logo of that ad while doing that. I don’t get the message. I just get pissed off. Certainly ads like that should be blocked.

For some years ago, 1999 actually, I had the great pleasure to work with Peugeot for the Swedish market as well as developing TV commercial synopsis for the international launch of the 206 GTi. We (me and the Art Director Anders √Ėstblom) had loads of background material sent to us by “our man in Paris”, the co-ordinatior monsieur Christian Coquart. One morning Christian called us up.

- “Forget everything about the target groups and studies done. EURO RSCG in Madrid has signed John McEnroe for their 206 GTi TV commercial. Christian Peugeuot is crazy about tennis and love the idea but thinks the film script s**ks. Can you guys come up with anything?”

We did. It was not rocket sience but good enough to get Christian to laugh. We created an animatic on it, so it could travel through the corridors of EURO RSCG and PSA  without having me and Anders tap dancing through the script every time.

Well, travelled it did. And so did I. I left EURO RSCG a few months later.

Then in 2008, during my last weeks at Caterpillar in Geneva, a couple of guys named Davide and Antoine came up to me and asked if I really did the idea with John McEnroe. They were all worked up since they loved that commercial and seen this animatic on my former CV site. According to them it had been produced later on and shown on French TV. ¬†Couldn’t find it on ¬†youtube…but ¬†I found almost the same script for SEAT.

Funny how ideas travel. This one is rather nice but I still would argue if it is spot on for the target groups. The two young French guys at the Caterpillar office said it was. McEnroe is a legend.