So who doesn’t like an Ad free internet world? I am sure you would simply love that banner free environment in your mobile, or that billboard free road, or the commercial free programming feed on your 40 inch Plasma? It is truly fascinating to think about a world which is devoid of Advertising. The issue however is surely debatable in a larger context. I really loved some of the points mentioned by the author of this article, the most critical was mentioned towards the end i.e. Lack of Advertising can trigger a social disturbance because these ads are kind of navigation points that help us make rational ( sometime irrational ) decisions about the world around us.
Someone may argue that we were doing well even before advertising came into existence
, people (and I mean humans) were transacting for a long time in the history, and it was entirely on the word of mouth, to which an adman would counter argue that the world was doing well before chronic consumerism hit our shores, and now since we have this consumerism at its peak (and climbing new heights), we would need a tool like advertising to help us navigate our way out of this madness. It (advertising) is our only chance to make a choice, and in this case the choice is not between a red or blue pill only, there is a purple, orange, green and many more pills to choose from.
The choices have become increasingly complex, not just because there is too much advertising but also because there are too many products. It is almost like the age old debate of chicken vs egg, whether advertising opened the floodgates for consumerism or vice-versa. In either of the cases, advertising has opened the doors into a parallel world within human consciousness. The ad-world is planting or rather incepting ideas & thoughts into our heads which is defining who we are. You may even look at it as a detour in the human evolution but now it is very much an integral part of our collective social experience.
Coming back to the point of whether ads are intrusive in our day to day living experience & I would actually like to be neutral in my reply here, there is no doubt that we all get bugged by these adverts every now & then, especially now when the world has gone digital & nobody wishes to spoil their experience on their personal devices like smartphones or tablets but there are few equally critical sides which cannot be ignored:
- Commercial viability of the content / product consumed. Consumer cannot expect the content to reach them free of cost all the time. Even if it is user generated content, the very platform on which it is getting served has cost overheads & needs to
- The benefits of having an informed consumer.
- Making shopping an engaging social experience which opens up various new dimensions in human behavior.
- Fear of void due to socio-political-cultural instability which needs a balm like advertising to bring some positive energy around us.
I am sure there are many more points that can be added to the above debate but for now I am signing out in order to let you contemplate about it a bit deeper.