so embrace them, and use their full potential...
Commercials can be annoying. But they don't have to be. Chances are, you've read as far as the title and called it quits, I don't really blame you. "What could possibly be the justification for hearing ads online while I'm trying to load my favorite playlists?" But hear me out. With the holidays now come and gone, you've most likely had your fill of online adverts in excess because you didn't renew your Pandora One or Spotify Premium accounts. Suddenly you're reminded of that Ford Tundra you don't need to buy, now that you're living in the New York City area and taking the subway and/or that Lexus RX you can't afford but hear about constantly. You are bombarded with them everywhere - online, while streaming your favorite music, browsing YouTube for your favorite episode of Friends, Seinfeld or that Kimye/Trump moment - even on your parents' TV at home (remember those things?), or maybe on the radio during your commute. Whatever your personal case may be, chances are you're getting hit hard with ads, right & left, coming at you with the strong sell, and you've had it.
So, why the need for all these commercials?
Quite frankly, it's because the advertising landscape has changed. Traditional means of reaching consumers has migrated toward online digital platforms, and we're all scrambling to keep up.
Advertising Facts You May Not Have Known:
The industry as whole isn't what it used to be (and is changing every day)
The younger "Millennial" market reigns supreme with undefined, unspecific yet sporadic buying behaviors (yet smarter buyers, not fooled by traditional advertising)
Conventional advertising methods are being used less (TV, Radio) and new methods (Video Marketing, YouTube Pre-Roll, Internet Radio) are taking over.
Ads have become smarter and more consumer specific.
Voiceover is more conversational as opposed to annnouncer-ish with a palette of different and unique-sounding talents.
Younger creatives hold more leadership positions.
While I do feel the frustration of having to sit through an ad (heck maybe even three in a row for the same product) while my 90s Hip-Hop playlist loads, I can appreciate their value. Maybe it's because I'm a voice over talent who enjoys staying current with the latest advertising trends as well as listening to peers' voices in spots for Home Depot, Toyota, Lysol, LearnVest, et. al. Hey, that's my competition! How can I improve or learn from this spot? And a few of them are even my friends, which is always fun to experience. Years before I began doing voiceover, I would mostly likely lower the volume dial as the commercials started or put my TV on mute. Now, waiting for an ad to load is an inevitable part of the online experience, whether that's 15 seconds or, in some cases, a full 30, and I've fully embraced it.
Granted, not all commercial ads are annoying. But neither will all ads change your buying habits either. The same way not all voices are annoying or will change the VO industry - it's a matter of personal preference. Some can really knock it out of the park with stellar creative, combining good writing, memorable voiceover, stunning visuals and a driving music bed. Like this new one from Alfa Romeo that I almost skipped until the VO drew me in.
So, how DO YOU actually ENJOY online ads?
A few tips that might help you get through a mandatory onslaught of ads:
Be glad it's not the dreaded announcer screaming in your face to BUY NOW. Let an easy-going, conversational voice ease you into the experience. And, even if it IS an booming announcer, it's most likely a parody of that voice type.
If you're in the car, all you have is your ears - eyes are pre-ocuppied. Use them to your advantage.
Most voiceover copy is now written more with the user in mind. Ads are smarter, more engaging... The voices are too.
You might even think about becoming more creative in your every day life.