If you pull back the covers of advertising ‘there’s a horse’s head’

The head of strategy at UM Melbourne, Eaon Pritchard, has said there is a horse’s head under the bed covers of the advertising industry due to nefarious operators creeping in and conducting fraudulent activity.

“Advertising has covered its bed in money, on the surface everything looks great, it looks like a really vibrant industry but then if you pull back the covers there’s a horse’s head,” he said in a reference to the scene in the 1972 Godfather film in which Jack Woltz wakes up and is horrified by what he discovers hidden next to him in bed.

The nefarious operators are the horse’s head, staining the sheets of the wider market, he explained.

“This is what the horse’s head looks like, it’s riddled with fraud, data leakage, tracking the worst thing to happen to advertising, malware and then there are things like fake news as well,” he said.

Speaking at Mumbrella360, Pritchard also called out content marketing, claiming “90% of everything is shit”.

“Now this is important because every time a new thing comes along like influencer marketing or content marketing, for a little while it seems to be exempt from this rule. Now not all content marketing is crap, just most of it.”

During his presentation on ‘Advertising Has Lost the Plot. So What Are We Going to Do Now?’, Pritchard also argued that millennials are the generation which really understands advertising, because they are good at advertising themselves.

Pritchard says there is a horse’s head under the covers

“The brains of millennials are being re-wired by the internet, have you heard that? Rubbish.

“If anyone understands advertising it’s millennials because they’re very very good at advertising themselves.”

The head of strategy gave examples of successful brands used by millennials, highlighting how each company understands and takes advantage of human motives.

“The successful companies in the digital economy understand human nature very very well, they understand what we are trying to signal to other people,” he continued.

“Tinder, mating motive…Twitter especially, status motive.

“Instagram, ‘Look how stylish and attractive I am by this salad I am pretending to eat.'”

Pritchard used these examples to explain why marketers don’t need to “trap people”.

“What are the things that people are trying to signal to each other? This is a big clue for us, we don’t need to trap people to get every minute piece of personal data.”

Leaving one piece of advice with the room, Pritchard encouraged the industry to invest in the most powerful tools people have, critical thinking and being skeptical.

“Invest the time in critical, be skeptical, don’t take things at face value and look for the evidence.

“Being skeptical is the best tool we’ve got.”


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