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Carl Corry | Advertisers wield new power, but how to harness it?
Carl Corry is a journalism instructor at Suffolk County Community College and freelance journalist who has held leading roles at Newsday, News 12 and Long Island Business News.
journalism, social media, digital journalism, smartphone journalism, media
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Advertisers wield new power, but how to harness it?

What recent advertisement sticks out in your mind? Was a TV spot — maybe one of those insurance company ads trying to sway you with the help of a celebrity and some humor? Or was it something you saw in print, radio or social media?

As times have changed, the capability of advertisers to target their audiences. They can now pinpoint prospective customers in real time with targeted online ads. That can really be annoying if not done well, or it can be a big help, especially if you’re in need of something specific and maybe you didn’t even know it. The season is changing and you need new grass seed, but you haven’t even thought about it until a targeted ad comes your way.

Well, thank you, Scott’s, for the reminder.

With social media, advertisers can also respond quickly to situations quickly without the middle man of traditional media companies. It’s significantly cheaper, fosters engagement and can have lingering positive buzz. One example if when Oreo sent out simple message during the 2013 Super Bowl blackout.

But just because advertisers wield new power doesn’t mean everybody knows what to do with it. We’re in the middle of an experimental phase, between traditional ads, social and native advertising — which is basically content that looks very similar to traditional editorial. They were called advertorials in my print days. I’ve not been a huge fan of native ads because I fear they confuse the viewer and could hurt a media company’s integrity, but even the big players are getting the game.

What does the future hold? I’m not sure, but soon maybe with a Riddler TV will be able to tap into my brain wirelessly and deliver ads directly to area that controls buying impulses.

Uh, oh. I may have just given someone an idea…

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