Northern Voice 2009 The Death of Advertising with Chris Heuer

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

By John Biehler on Flickr

Is advertising dead and if so, who killed it? Chris Heuer‘s talk becomes a discussion rather quickly surrounding marketing, advertising and its shift to reality and reviews in the online realm.

“Big clients, small clients, they’re coming to me and saying my advertising isn’t working anymore,” Chris then plays a clip from Monty Python bring out your dead comparing it to the world of advertising. “They don’t understand that marketing has become a four letter word.” He adds, “We don’t want to be sold anymore we want to be able to buy.”

Update: It’s all about a power shift, “because things are more visible now, we don’t need people to make us aware of it — our friends do.” What killed advertising? Tivo? Craigslist? Chris says it’s choice. He ads that informative and entertaining advertising works — “it’s not spam, it’s helpful.”

The discussion in the room is going back to print advertising quite often and how that is looked at as dead.

“We don’t have to sit back anymore, we can interact,” says Chris, which leads to sharing and more engagement. He pulls up a screen that shows a heat map of eye-tracking when people look at websites and the “red zones” are all on the main content – not the sidebars or on banner ads within posts.

“One of the reasons why advertising must die as we know it is because we have to change the way we think about it.”

Update: Chris talks about advertising versus adding value. This is something I personally believe in (for anyone who advertises on my site I also write up a blog post in order to add content, information and value for my readers and the client.

Chris pulls up Will it Blend – saying this is a form of advertising and it works even without “ads”. They toss products in a blender and create videos and posts which then land on the front page of Google for that product — they are profitable yet spend zero on ads. At one point you could Google “iPod” and you’d get the episode of Will it Blend where they blend up on iPod. The product they actually do sell… is the blender itself.

We’re running a bit behind at Northern Voice so Chris wraps up his talk while the discussion continues about where should people be putting their advertising dollars… he adds (thanks to Twitter, I could look it up after the fact) that you shouldn’t be spending money on advertising when you can simply be making money (a la Will It Blend).

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2 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Chris HeuerSunday, February 22nd, 2009 — 10:52pm PST

    Thanks for covering my session Rebbecca – just a couple of points of clarification regarding will it blend – was speaking about the profitability of the marketing department itself, not the overall company – they create content like the ipod in the blender and sell ads against it – they also do custom content for various radio/tv stations in local markets around the country and other sorts of activities that generate revenue while increasing awareness of the product – brilliant. The other point is you can go to Google today and search for ‘ipod’ and you will see the link to that video you mentioned on the first page – hence the proof about the power of social media (and smart marketing / content development) and its evergreen SEO when done right.

  2. DaleWednesday, March 11th, 2009 — 9:47am PDT

    Bruce Sharpe has posted the video of Chris’s talk at

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