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  • Frank Gussoni

The Swing Back to Traditional Advertising

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

The pendulum of advertising is swinging back from the digital and social media hype to the “old school” traditional mediums, at least part way. For the last couple of decades, more and more advertisers started moving away from what was considered old school advertising to focus their efforts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds, content on YouTube and Tik Tok, as well as social native ads.

With all the advertising focus flooding those areas, consumers have started to become not just blind to that type of messaging, but ultimately annoyed by it. This is causing its effectiveness to drop significantly. According to a study done by eMarketer in Q2 of 2021, 41% of social media users found ads to be deceptive and 24% said that the platforms they use show them ads that were “annoying” while only 16% said that the ads that were shown to them were even relevant to them. I would bet, if that study was done again today, we would see an even greater difference between the ads that people found relevant to those they didn’t.

If we look back at a study eMarketer did about what ads consumers found most annoying, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to know that even just a couple of years ago, nearly 67% said that the most bothersome ads were video ads that played automatically with sound. But what was more shocking, was that only 10% of those surveyed, said that they did not consider digital ads annoying at all. Once again, proving the point that digital ads can provoke an unwanted response.

Now, after nearly two years of dealing with a pandemic, where people have been locked away and tuned into digital for their “viewing pleasure”, connections and communication, I think consumers are going to go through a partial digital detox. People are now craving the opportunity to engage personally and getting out and about. This will inevitably leave behind the binge Netflix watching and the endless hours of Facebook scrolling. That’s not to say that streaming show viewing is going away or that everyone is ditching their social media use. I just believe that the amount of time being invested in those areas moving forward, will decrease from what we saw in the last few years.

That’s not to say that social media advertising shouldn’t be included in a media plan. We use it not just for our clients, but to advertise our own company. But, as I always say, “you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Unfortunately, due to its low-cost options and highly targeted capabilities, it became the number one go to for so many businesses. The increase in digital spending has gone up tremendously. A report done by Statista shows that the digital ad spend in 2020 of 356 billion U.S. dollars will likely grow to 460 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. However, with all the changes and restrictions to the use of cookie data that is set to start in 2023, I wonder how ad spend will be impacted.

Each of these points are just more reasons that many businesses will add back traditional advertising through tv, radio, out of home, and any method of advertising that is offline.

Not only are these methods of advertising still very viable, but thanks to the shift to digital advertising, they have also become less crowded. The decrease of competition in these areas allow for those that advertise in each of these spaces to stand out. Brands that you wouldn’t expect to see on a billboard or hear on the radio, get the eyes and ears of a consumer that they may not have reached before. And…reach them without “annoying” them.

For brands that are looking to become more credible with consumers, traditional advertising should absolutely be considered. These methods of advertising give a consumer the feeling of an established, trustworthy, and much more dependable brand. And I for one would prefer all the advertising my agency coordinates for our clients, to be seen as dependable rather than annoying.



President & Founder of A3 media.

We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

Frank’s Take provides uncommon sense media buying advice for regional and mid-market businesses.

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President & Founder of A3 media. We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

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