What Would We Do Without Advertising?

SMS Text

While a large part of our audience flocks to San Jose to attend Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expo, I wanted to ask an important question and present an illustration to go with it.
What would we do without advertising?
While no one likes to face a blitzkrieg of advertising, one has to imagine what our lives would be if it was completely devoid of advertising. How would we know what our options are and how would we begin to compare them?

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

Cameron Olthuis

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  • Nathania – Bold Interactive

    Well, it wouldn’t look like that – it would just look like the buildings.
    Actually, when I was in Switzerland, I noticed that advertising was kept to a minimum. It was quite nice.

  • esotericsean

    It would probably be a much nicer world.
    Advertising seems to be heading in better directions, though.

  • Glen Allsopp

    Marketers would try to tap into people by talking to them I guess, or products would have to be amazing so people spread them.
    Interesting question

  • Cheryl

    I was in Cuba for a few weeks last year and there is no advertising at all (except for the billboards with government propaganda).
    It was really odd at first but it’s amazing how quickly you get used to it – I went to Mexico after that and even the ads at the airport in Cancun were such an assault on the senses after a few weeks of no advertising, I kept feeling like advertisers were yelling at me. It was really overwhelming.
    In terms of what our options were and how to compare them, we’d rely on methods everyone has for years before advertising, using our social networks and making judgments based on that.

  • Paulo Maia

    This illustration is actually two photos (before and after) of S?ɬ

  • Skellie

    We’d go on the web and look up reviews. In places where not everyone has easy access to the web, I can imagine more emphasis would fall on word of mouth recommendations, and consumers would publish reviews in buyer magazines or newspapers.
    I think it would be wonderful, to be honest.

  • Jake

    We’d likely have more windows on buildings and you’d see beautiful facades. As well, more of our highways would have vistas of natural landscapes, which would be great.
    As for starting to find and compare products…Search Engines are a nice place and really don’t add to the outdoor clutter – at all.

  • Robin Nobles

    A very interesting question. I believe that we’re conditioned, in many ways, to overlook advertising unless something captures our attention.
    How many of us go to the bathroom or make popcorn during a commercial? I, on the other hand, make it a point to watch commercials because I can learn so much from a marketing standpoint.
    Look in magazines for two-page ads. You’ll often find one of the pages don’t contain URLs or the name of the company. If the other page has gotten torn out, like in a doctor’s office for example, the reader has no idea what’s being advertised.
    I consider this the equivalent of content being “above the fold” on the main page of a site.
    We need advertising, but it needs to be done correctly, and it doesn’t need to take away from the beauty of the landscape. Spending money needlessly, whether online or offline, is like throwing money into the wind.
    Great idea for a thought-provoking question.
    Robin Nobles