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Link: Brands, fame and one-to-one targeting – Bob Hoffman

This whole piece is worth reading, but particularly these two extracts:

The most compelling advertising objective for any brand that aspires to be highly successful is to become famous. The most compelling advertising objective for any brand that is already famous is to remain famous. There is nothing else in advertising’s bag of tricks that can reliably provide fame’s contribution to business success.

One of the current obsessions of the advertising industry is “precision one-to-one” targeting. If you agree that fame is advertising’s most powerful contribution, then it should be obvious that “precision one-to-one” targeting is antithetical to this.

Advertising was invented for the very reason that trying to convince people one at a time was highly inefficient. But today, we are determined to go backward. If you want to sell one vacuum cleaner, sure, go door-to-door. But if you want to sell a million, you better find some way to make your vacuum cleaner famous.

When Meta and adtech complain that privacy laws and tech pushes hurt small businesses, what they really mean are businesses that rely on paying them for their tracking ads. And when businesses rely on tracking ads they’re not building brand awareness, they may as well be selling door-to-door.