Advertising And Marketing Are Broken: How Do We Fix Them?

Advertising And Marketing Are Broken: How Do We Fix Them?

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Traditional marketing and advertising is useless, argues Gerry McGovern. Do you agree?


So much advertising and marketing is based on false promises and exaggeration. This sort of corporate propaganda is facing an increasing backlash.

“$40 billion is spent on digital advertising in the US on an annual basis, while between $2 and 5 billion is spent on designing services,” Chris Risdon of Adaptive Path recently stated. “So, we set a big expectation and then don’t deliver.”

Traditional advertising and marketing are the dinosaurs of the digital and social world. They are annoying, disruptive, time-wasting and for most people most of the time, they are absolutely useless. Even when it’s working and communicating a message to an interested audience, marketing and advertising invariably over-promise and under-deliver.

A lot of marketing thinking is based on the belief that people are irrational, emotional fools. The best marketing, some marketers believe, fools people without them even knowing they’ve been fooled. “I know I’ve totally hit the nail on the head,” I heard one marketer gush, “when I hear a consumer say: “I want to buy this brand and I don’t even know why.” According to some marketers, that sort of psychological manipulation is the essence of marketing and branding.

It’s true. We are irrational, emotional fools.

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