Times Online piece on future of TV advertising

An interesting piece from Dan Sabbagh at the Times on new technologies to allow you to run targeted advertising on television. Quite apart from the mild digs towards digital advertising, in particular Google paid search, I think there is a core problem with what he is saying, and that is soon people won’t need to watch advertising any more.

The main problem with his arguement is that technologies such as Sky+ will eventually render advertising obsolete. People watch advertising because the adverts are placed between the programmes that they want to watch. They watch because they have to, not because they want to; despite myths perpetuated to allow advertisers to feel culturally relevant, people do not watch ads for fun. They are not the end destination.

So as more people get Sky+, more people will realise that they don’t need to watch the advertising at all. Sky+ isn’t particularly cheap, so I imagine certain demographics will be the first to be untouchable by TV advertising. Those with money to pay for it, and with an early-adoptor attitude to make the initial leap that says “I don’t NEED to watch these ads”, will be the first to go. And then slowly it’ll spread, until eventually, I expect that they’ll be just a small core demographic left that can’t afford the technology or don’t want to understand it. Of course, even this will go eventually, but in the meantime I guess we’ll be seeing a lot more of Daz’s Doorstep Challenge.