Media I thought we were all supposed to run away from clutter?

Before the LIB hordes brandish pitchforks and light the bonfire, let me remind them that Halloween is past and that there is no just cause to shedding innocent blood. I fully recognise that no man born of woman dare profane the hallowed grounds of lindaikejiblogspot. I wish to assure all the site’s devotees – amongst whom are some very important people in my life – that my instincts for self-preservation are still strong and that I still wish to continue living. My intentions are not dastardly. You may therefore all kill the engines of your broomsticks and stow away your calabashes.

On the contrary, I hold the enterprise of Miss Ikeji in very high esteem. Very few bloggers can write a cheque for a Range Rover, and even fewer able to write their way to a house in Banana Island. The blog has become a veritable source of news for thousands of Nigerians. And for those who think Aunty Linda can’t write diddly-squat, well, she didn’t say she was Maya Angelou, did she? She found a need. She met it. Nice doing business with you.

My issue with lindaikejiblogsot is simply about the advertising clutter on the site. Or perhaps more appropriately, with the clients and media agencies who contribute to the clutter.

We (clients and agencies) complain about clutter, demand strategies to break through it and yet end up on LIB.

LIB is perhaps the most cluttered advertising medium in Nigeria. Feels like a classifieds page in there. It’s like trying to grab attention in Time Square. The clutter is obviously good business for the blog, but I fail to see how it benefits a brand with an important message to pass across.

Now, I confess that I have very limited knowledge of media planning and ‘digital marketing.’ I have always believed that marketing is about meeting needs profitably, and that ‘digital marketing’ must therefore be a way of achieving this ‘digitally.’ But it seems that I am unenlightened. So please bear with my ignorance.

Many media planners (or is it clients, now?) tout the ‘huge’ reach of LIB and the ‘cheaper’ cost per thousand impression of the blog over traditional media. Well, when you consider that the blog hardly offer clients any solid analytics about the site, you tend to lack conviction about the reach and cheaper cost-per-thousand-impression argument.

To be fair, no Nigerian TV station, radio station or newspaper can offer us accurate and third-party verifiable analytics about its offering. Hence it would be unfair to expect actionable insights and analytics from LIB.

But isn’t that the whole point about online advertising – measurability? Isn’t that the supposed edge of online advertising over traditional media? If there’s no analytics, there’s no demography. And if there’s no demography, well, how do you know your target market is on LIB?

“Well, same way you know your target market reads The Punch, dumbo.” 

Thing though is that you tend to notice ads in the papers and on TV. You are a captive audience. You are forced to see the ads, even if they are unworthy of any attention. But it is different with online advertising. You’re not a captive audience. You can unsee, mute or skip ads. With a very cluttered blog like LIB, I hazard that you don’t even notice the ads. You’re there to read stuffs and your mind blots away all distractions. It’s likes radio ads; you listen without really listening.

The issue of clutter and unsightliness is even worse when you try to view LIB on your mobile phone.

Ultimately, the blame will be laid at the feet of creativity.

We delivered the reach, but the agencies couldn’t deliver the cracking advertising and placement.

How convenient.

When your agency proposed native advertising, advertising tailored to a specific medium, what did you say? We want a banner we can use across multiple sites. What’s good for lindaikejiblogspot is also good for Instagram. 

I have never seen an agency charged with coming up with clutter-busting creatives that has failed to do so. Creative advertising that are also on strategy. Agencies live for charges like these. The problem is usually with the client. The fear of trying something new, taking a risk is all too strong.

Reach and impressions (more accurately, opportunity-to-see) make little sense when the advertising is forgettable. The point about advertising is evoke emotions and persuade. Great advertising tend to do that. Not weak advertising that is delivered to a gazillion people.

It has often been argued that advertising is like music. That it grows on you. You necessarily don’t ‘feel’ the song the first time you hear it, but the more you listen to it, the more you like it.

The difference between music and advertising is that one is an art form that I’m not necessarily trying to avoid. Advertising is a sales pitch. I’m not inclined to giving it a second chance.

If the objective of the advertising is to bring about brand recall or awareness, reach and frequency will obviously be key. But if you want to build affinity or an emotional connection with the consumer, you need super-duper advertising.

 Like the Google ‘Reunion’ and Ram Truck’s ‘God Made A Farmer’ spots.

I like what MTN is doing on LIB with its 4G LTE banner at the base of the site. If your cursor touches the banner, it brings up a much bigger banner that shows you a video of what you can do with 4G LTE, 4G LTE coverage areas in your city and a short form to ‘improve your internet experience.’ Cool. That’s a foot in the door. The revolving cube Malta Guinness has on Bellanaija is also unmissable.  But they are desktop-based. If 70% of people who access the internet in Nigeria do so through their mobile, that’s a bummer.

It is never the business of lindaikejiblogspot to de-clutter its site. The clutter keeps the rain off Miss Ikeji’s head and drapes that Hermes Birkin on her shoulder.

It’s your brand that’s got to do something about the clutter. Creativity, I have found, is always the best way out.


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