Excerpt: Imagine this. Sex, violence, disease, corruption, and offensive language is rampant across American screens and viewers love it. A relatively unknown company is responsible, and advertisers aren’t welcome. This company grows from 365 subscribers in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1972 to over $4 billion in annual revenue by 2007.
It’s 2019 and HBO’s story is now rapidly playing out across new entertainment companies and platforms. A swath of unconventional media experiences are driving insane amounts of customer loyalty while lacking a standard advertiser presence.
I worry that in some advertising circles, there’s a denial of a scary truth: That HBO model that bucked the support of advertising is spreading. There’s plenty of conversation about ad blocking and Netflix, but this is bigger than that. Advertising, at least as we know it today, won’t be around for the customers we need to build our brand. While brands chase the white rabbits of traditional measurement, standard ad formats, and conventional brand safety, they’re avoiding their audiences’ passion points. And in doing so, they’re risking the long-term health of their brands. Consider three of the most prolific and loyal experiences for Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z: Gaming, messaging, and content platforms.
Read the full op-ed from Mindshare’s Jason Smith in Business Insider, with insights on the gaming, messaging, and streaming content spaces, as well as four key pieces of advice for any marketers moving forward.