Why your digital ad is a ‘fart button’.

A rant about digital and the future and that kind of stuff.
Or why your digital ad is a ‘fart button’.

Lately I’m meeting more and more people who ‘know about digital’ and to be honest I think I’ve uncovered a latent tendency to self-harm. Or Tourette’s.

Time was when we (that’s not the royal we btw) could impress people with our digital magic. “And when you click this here, tadaaaaa that thing happens…” Sigh.

Not now.

Advertising has caught up. Clients have caught up. And now they know that if you click ‘this’ then ‘that’ happens. Because any tool can do that. And when I say tool I mean dick. Or Tom or Harry.

Digital is now a staple on the media plans. It’s a channel. And for a lot of agencies that’s it.

There’s a formula now. They do a TV ad. They pull some stills. That’s the Digital Display ads done. Yay! And now we’ll put the ad on You Tube.

Stabs leg. FUCK!

We live in a post digital age.

You can buy a digital photo frame for 5 bucks in TKMaxx if you like shopping in a giant skip.

And for a lot of agencies that proclaim to offer a digital solution – that’s what they’re selling. A digital photo frame. With pictures from the TV ad.

I wouldn’t click it even if they swore I was the 1 millionth visitor and I‘d won a free iPad. You remember the ‘fart button’? I’d be more inclined to click that.


Well if I’m on a webpage or on my shiny mobile thing I’m there to read something interesting or rob something of value.

Like me, most people know that if we click on that picture of your TV ad we’re going to land in an online shop and then we’re going to be funneled into some money-extracting thing while the Oompa Loompas sing about how foolish we were.

(Actually that sounds much more interesting… Writes note about money-extracting thing with Oompa Loompas singing that will mystify future self.)

NO crappy photo-frame ad! I want to finish my robbing thanks.

In the future things will be better. (In my future I have hair.) Things are always better in the future. I will find crazy notes from my past self. Some of them might even make sense.

Here’s what going to happen in the future. A few days ago I found this video on Wired.

It’s a young Japanese man’s view of the future. He depicted a kitchen full of interactive brand logos and bristling with kinetic software. One swipe of his hand, whoosh, and the World is at his fingertips.

Yeah, very Minority Report. But with logos.

Here’s a link. You can go there now if you’re stabbing your leg.

It’s all very clever. But he had to download a recipe for making a cup of tea. And the polite Japanese-robo-woman-voice tells him to get a cup, put a tea bag in it, and add hot water.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a future where I spend my days rolling my eyes and muttering “forfucksake”!

In the future I want to be doing what I’m doing now. Okay, less meetings. Or, more interesting ones.

I want to offer our clients magic. I want our guys to continue to frighten me with stuff that I have no idea how it works. And I want to be continually amazed and inspired by the agencies, artists and scientists that get it. You know who you are. And I want you to know that I love you deeply.

But if you are a creative with more digital in your car than you have in your portfolio… Then the future is going to be real scary.

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Dabitch's picture

Fuck yeah. *stabs leg*

AntDude's picture

Link was broken! http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/01/keiichi-matsuda/ is the correct one.

Dabitch's picture

Thanks antdude! :)

caffeinegoddess's picture

The other thing is most of the ads that are repurposed for digital are LAME and crap. I don't want to see them on my TV, why the hell do I want to see them online.

Dabitch's picture

It's also a bit like running a radio ad on TV. IT'S A DIFFERENT MEDIA, PEOPLE.

Bren O'Flaherty's picture

I wrote this after a pint of Absinthe. I am now in Shanghai with a very long beard.

Thank you for fixing the link AntDude.

Thank you for inviting me to express myself Åsk.

AntDude's picture

I want the fart button!