The Changing Nature of Advertising

Digital advertising is taking the business world by storm. Given the extensive amount of time that people spend looking at their mobile devices, it comes as little surprise that the advertising industry is capitalizing on mobile apps for marketing purposes, revolutionizing the way products are being marketed.  In fact, a study released by an analytic firm Flurry revealed that Americans on average spend up to five hours per day on their mobile devices. This tremendous shift in our collective attention has been mirrored by a shift in marketing practices.   

In recent years, the effectiveness of traditional advertising has been on rapid decline. In particular, print newspaper and television advertisements have lost their value, particularly with a younger audience. According to the Financial Times, traditional advertising companies like WPP, Publicis, Omnicom and Interpublic Group, are stalling due to the “technological disruption” of social media platforms, which are using their wide user bases to sell products. These traditional marketing companies have a dire future; a study by Deloitte Global predicted that in 2020 millennials will be watching less than two hours of TV per day. As a result, eMarketer has predicted that TV advertising will constitute less than one third of total spending on advertising by the same year.

Large technology companies like Snapchat and Instagram are taking advantage of this new use for their platforms, marketing themselves to companies as an alternative form of adverting. Currently, companies can buy Snapchat geo-filters, or sponsored Instagram posts or stories, reaching millions of users. According to the Financial Times, advertising revenues for Snapchat from these sponsored posts have doubled from 2016 to 2017.

Some popular social media accounts are also capitalizing on their unique access to the millennial audience, offering companies the opportunity to purchase sponsored posts. A former Director of Business Development at Jerry Media, the company behind a popular Instagram account F*ckJerry, which is harnessing the power of social media audiences to commoditize memes, said that this kind of social media marketing is becoming more popular. Although some of the bigger corporations prefer traditional advertising, “it’s changing a lot” and social media advertising is “going to get much bigger, evolve and change”.