Joseph Jaffe is asking us to take part in his „exercise in futility“.

He asks us to leisurely watch television and then answer a few apparently easy questions:

  • how many commercials in totality do you think you watched?
  • how many commercials did you remember?
  • of these commercials, how many brands did you remember (as opposed to „the one with the bunnies“
  • of these commercials, how many do you think told you something you didn’t know, offered up something of value, made you think differently about the brand and/or made you want to buy (or consider to buy) that particular brand/product/service
  • Bonus assignment: did any one or more commercials strike you as being particularly original, progressive, innovative in terms of message, call-to-action etc.?

I can see his point. But do take into account: if there was a similar questionnaire about regular online advertising, the result would be similarly bad (or even worse). If I read his book right, then his point is more about the irrelevance of this kind of advertising. Push advertising, unasked for, without any engaging element to it…