For years, we’ve been watching TV shows, reading magazines, flipping through newspapers, listening to radio stations and more. We tuned in, turned on, and flipped our way to happiness. Best of all, outside of minimal subscription costs or low cable access fees, we didn’t even really have to pay for it.
But it had a cost. A rather large one, actually.
The actors were paid. The writers were paid. The photographers were paid. The people who operated massive printing presses were paid. And your measly $2.99 contribution at your local 7-11 didn’t do a hell of a lot to offset the real costs of production. But thanks for your drop in the bucket.
Luckily, you had a Sugar Daddy: Advertising.
When you wanted to watch re-runs of Who’s the Boss? at 2am just to hear Tony Danza wrestle with the word “Samantha”, advertising whipped out its credit card and paid for it.
When you wanted to thumb through paparazzi photos of Kardashian Hillbillies shopping for shoes, purses, and husbands open to reality TV guest appearances, advertising picked up the tab.
When you wanted to listen to a juvenile morning DJ make fart jokes while conducting a lame contest created just to get you to call in and proclaim your love for 4 random call letters (“I love CKGR!!!), it wasn’t “Madd Mike” who ponied up the dough for the all-inclusive trip to Cancun. It was advertising.
Then, something changed.
The costs of production and distribution for our entertainment needs came down. Radically.
Now, anyone can publish. Anyone can record. Anyone can shoot. And it can all be distributed to 10 for the same cost as getting it to 10 million.
You may still need your Daddy. You just don’t need as much sugar.
It’s not that advertising isn’t as effective as it used to be.
It’s that it’s not as important as it used to be.
It needs us more than we need it.
As consumers, we’ve always shown up for the content.
Smart brands realize that. Smarter brands invest in it.
Welcome to the age of Content Marketing.