"I've never seen things changing as much as they are now," says Rance Crain, editor-in-chief of trade magazine Advertising Age and a 40-plus-year observer of marketing. "Advertisers will not be satisfied until they put their mark on every blade of grass."
Ad-zapping devices — and a decrease in consumer attention spans — have created doubts about the effectiveness of traditional TV, radio and print ads. In response, marketers have become increasingly invasive.
"It's out of control," says Jenny Beaton, a mother of three in Westlake, Ohio. "I don't know how advertisers can think they're selling more products. It's just annoying everybody."
Many, such as Beaton, are tuning out.
"Advertising is so ubiquitous that it's turning people off," Crain says. "It's desensitizing people to the message."
The more consumers ignore ads, the more ads marketers spew back at them, says Max Kalehoff of marketing research firm Nielsen BuzzMetrics. "It's like a drug addiction. Advertisers just keep buying more and more just to try to achieve prior levels of impact. In other words, they're hooked."
Now companies have to learn. Repeat after me.... "Marketing last legs - Advertising legless"