Advertise better, not more aggressively

It’s no secret that advertising creative has gone down the tubes in the last decade. Businesses are now substituting aggressive online placement in place of strong concepts. Good advertising creative is smart marketing. Poor advertising creative, all too common today, isn’t so good because it shows the company doesn’t really care about its customers.

Like many people, I’m annoyed by online banner ads. It’s not the ads themselves I mind (well, there are some terrible ones), but the manner in which companies aggressively place them that is beyond annoying.

If I want to buy a product, I check it out, then like most consumers, I either think about it on my own or I buy on the spot. If I choose to think about it, it means I want time, on my own. By default, it also means I do not want to see it over and over on every website I visit, which only deceases the likelihood of a purchase.

Banner advertising networks track your every online move, with tactics that throw ads in front of our eyes for nearly every product we view online. There is no better way to thwart a sale that to annoy the customer.

The more a company contacts me, the less likely I will buy. For example, I bought a shirt at, being careful to uncheck any email subscription boxes. I received no less than a dozen email advertisements in the month after the sale, many after requesting removal from their list, and still more from their other sites. In response, they’ve been added to my ‘do not buy’ list.

I suspect as advertisers get more and more aggressive, more people will respond by buying less or buying the competing product. Which is good, because it will force businesses to simply do better advertising creative instead of taking invasive maneuvers.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

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