Blah blah bu-blah-blah content, blah blah content blah content. Content! Bu-blah blah bu-blah content.
It's hard to get through an advertising meeting without the word content being uttered, at least a few times. It's an easy "get" on any respectable conference call bingo card. What used to be called programming, or a series, or a show. Now: content.
And that's okay. Doesn't really matter what it's called. The echo-explosion of ways to display video means there's a whole sh*tload of video that's gotta be made. If it helps to deem it content, if calling it that somehow makes it take up more space than any of the previous monikers, that's fine by me. In fact, it's all this content creation that leads to another, sometimes underappreciated, boon to advertisers:
This is the stuff of time fillers, time killers. Eye candy, fluff, pabulum; more opiate than stimulant. It's okay. Everybody needs a little mindless, anodyne entertainment now and then. Instead of feeding on an entire season or two of a great series, you realize you're watching yet another Seinfeld or your fifth House Hunters International and you're not sure how you got there. It's like a bag of potato chips. You're well aware that there isn't a whole lot of nutritional value in there, and you're not particularly enjoying the experience, but damn, look at that - the bag's empty!
Now before you get all judgy, let's step back and consider the value of nontent to advertisers. Think about it: if we're trying to get dear viewer to pay attention to our latest brand message, or, more importantly, if we're trying to get dear viewer to respond to our latest message, what could be more perfect? As the nontent flickers across a semi-comatose stare, does not the advertising leap off the screen? Does not the advertising capture one's attention more readily? Does not the advertising cause Walker Texas Ranger to pale by comparison.
I say yes, yes it does.
I know, I know. Advertising is a numbers game, a ratings game. Deliver the GRPS and TRPS and impressions, and the rest will take care of itself. But if you're in the business of being held accountable for the cost of said advertising - a phenomenon gaining in popularity - nontent is a godsend. Think about it, if you're breathlessly engaged in your content, are you going to break away from it to check out a website or enter a promo code or, heaven forbid, make a purchase? I'd guess not so much.
So keep the nontent coming, please. Churn it out and fill the pipeline with more. In the meantime, we'll keep creating the (advertising) content to pay for it.