Marketing: Our De-sensitivity for Advertisements

the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes by Diane McGyverI’m going to be the first to admit I don’t see ads. My brain has the super power to look at a page, see the information offered and put blank squares over the advertisements, so they don’t distract me.

This started with newspapers and has become more refined while surfing the web. Partly because I’m not a shopper, so I’m not looking for deals, and partly because I’ve been inundated with ads since I was a child, so I’ve grown immunity towards them.

I’m not fussy about which ones I ignore: I ignore them all, the ones I’d never be interested in and products I would probably buy.

I’m talking about this because of an article I read last night. It discussed our ability to ignore ads has increased over the decades. Are you surprised? I wasn’t.

Bill Arnott has a Beat on “The Miramichi Reader” website where he imparts sage advice for writers with and without books published in his Writers’ Tips from Bill’s Workshop Series II. You can read the full article here: The Essentials of Ads and Promo.

While I believed humans had to see advertisements only five times to respond—if they truly had a desire to respond—I was corrected: Bill said it was seven. But wait. As I said, ‘had to see’. Today, that number is 20 because we are bombarded with ads on a regular basis everywhere we go whether online or in public.

While I’m advertising my books in many places, that doesn’t mean I’ll increase the number of ads over the same amount of time. It means only that I have to place them for longer periods of time at the same rate to increase exposure and increase my chances of selling a book.

An example of an advertisement that worked wonders and is still in the mind of many Maritimes over the age of 40 is Stompin’ Tom Connors’ jingle for Prince Edward Island tourism. It came out in the 1970s. I still know the number. I hope it’s still operational because whatever the province paid to have this ad made was worth it multiplied by ten. We can’t forget 8-double zero-565-7421.

If I could come up with a jingle like this, I’d sell oodles of books.


8 thoughts on “Marketing: Our De-sensitivity for Advertisements

  1. Between adblockers and just not seeing them, one wonders how some sites keep putting up content for free. Are paywalls in our future from more and more? But I wish I were as able to ignore them as you. Easy on my desktop with the blockers and on my TV using a DVR and timeshifting to bypass the commercials. Finally started using Duck Duck Go on the phone because phone ads are WAY bigger than on a desktop.


    • I’m surprised paywalls for certain sites weren’t up from the beginning. Because they haven’t been, newspapers, magazines and other printed publications that once sold subscriptions have suffered dearly by giving content away. Many are installing paywalls now for the majority of their content, but it’s too late for some. Who paid for this free material? Writers who created the content. They were either expected to work for free or produce more for the same money.

      I don’t watch TV. I left that world because I found nothing of interest. The odd time I see a TV on and view a commercial, I’m shocked at how much they’ve changed. Almost everyone is a lie and aggressively tells consumers they need this product.

      I didn’t know that about phone ads. The old cell phone I have is used for taking pictures and texting my kids when I have a signal. I don’t use it as a phone or to surf the net. Big ads taking up screen space would be extremely annoying.


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