How Far Should Advertising Go?

Advertising is everywhere – on the TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, Facebook, Google… the list is endless. How far should advertising go?

Sometimes it can be quite subtle, but the increasing use of product placement is making even our favourite films advertising vessels. Take the new Bond film for example. Usually, Bond reaches for his trademark dry martini (shaken not stirred), but in the latest offering ‘Skyfall’, our hero reaches instead for a beer thanks to the film’s makers rumoured $45million marketing deal with Heineken. (The Telegraph). Not only that, but Daniel Craig will also appear on bottles of the beer, while Sam Mendes (Skyfall’s director) will shoot a commercial for them.

In the grand scheme on things, that’s not too intrusive. But what happens when advertisers resort to shock tactics to get us to sit up and  take note. This type of graphic advertising is discussed in this wonderful post by Sarah Turner looking at the degredation of women in fashion advertising campaigns.I don’t know about you, but images like that certainly don’t make me want to buy.

As if we weren’t exposed enough to advertising messages, I was horrified to read a report in The Drum about Skype’s launch of in-call ‘conversation ads.’

According to Sandhya Venkatachalam, VP of advertising and monetisation at Skype:

“These new display ad units will appear within the calling window of users who do not have Skype Credit or subscriptions when they’re making 1:1 Skype-to-Skype audio calls using Skype for Windows.

“We’re excited to introduce Conversations Ads as an opportunity for marketers to reach our hundreds of millions of connected users in a place where they can have meaningful conversations about brands in a highly engaging environment. Skype is already at the center of meaningful conversations, where families, friends, and colleagues spend time together.

“While on a 1:1 audio call, users will see content that could spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences. So, you should think of Conversation Ads as a way for Skype to generate fun interactivity between your circle of friends and family and the brands you care about. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day.”


So, when you’re on a Skype call to a relative or friend on the other side of the world, are you really going to start talking about the ad that annoyingly pops up on your screen? Surely, you’ll have more important things to talk about – please tell you me you would have something more important to chat about?

What’s next? Recorded adverts played during your telephone conversations?

Honestly, is there nothing sacred anymore?

What do you think?

Has advertising got out of hand?

Leave a comment below and vent your opion.


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