The Problem With Ads, Is They’re Ads

It’s 20-heckin-21 man. Human beings are consuming content like it’s goddamn banana bread, and there’s no sign of us slowing down. In fact, one billion hours of video content gets watched every single day on YouTube alone. That would take 100,000 years if it were one person, which is nearly enough time to finally finish Game Of Thrones.


This begs the question, why on earth do advertisers have the nerve to put their ads in front of people if they’re not at the very least, entertaining. After all, an ad is still a piece of content, so if we’re going to be forced to watch one, we’d expect some form of value from it in return. But no. Even today, we see self-indulgent ads popping up left right and centre, and they all have one goal in mind: SELL. This is a problem.

The Bullshit Detectors


People can smell bullshit from a mile off. In the age of influencer marketing, sponsored content, TikTok, Instagram, FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, you name it, we’ve all become expert, ninja-level bullshit detectors. This is only a problem if your ads are bullshit, which they probably are (sorry not sorry).


The second someone feel’s they’re being advertised to, it’s game over. And you can’t blame them. If we clicked through and made a purchase on every ad we saw on a daily basis, we’d all be broke before we’ve even had breakfast.


If the goal isn’t sales, what’s the point?


Well, once brands stop being such selfish bastards, and realise that the majority of people they show their ad to are not going to give a shit how organic their cat food is, they’ll realise that humans are extremely tribal in nature.

A modern person’s relationship with a brand is far beyond the purchase of a product. It’s long term. There’s no wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am about it, this needs to be a two way relationship. 

  • What is a person gaining by being part of your tribe?
  • How do the lives of existing members of your tribe already look?
  • What does your tribe VALUE?
  • What does your tribe care about?
  • What efforts can be achieved by joining your tribe?

If you haven’t thought about these before running your ad, your gains are going to be short-term at best.


The difference between ‘selfish’ ads and ‘valuable’ ads.


“Hey you! Buy my product! Hey, HEY! Look at how nice my product is! BUY IT!”

 – This is how you look when you run a selfish ad.


“Hey, thanks for stopping on our ad, we think you hold many of the same values as us. We’re forming a very specific culture for people such as yourself, and we think you’d love to be a part of it”

– This is how you look when you run a valuable ad


Here are some things that could make your ad valuable:

  • Make someone laugh
  • Entertaining anicdote
  • Sharing real knowledge/information
  • Creative inspiration
  • Offering something genuinely useful for free
  • Tell an inspiring story
  • Show real human beings doing real things
  • Be shocking
  • Acknowledge your imperfections/flaws

Running an ad is not how it used to be. Your audience are tired of being sold things, your audience are smart. Deceiving your audience is downright insulting, so be honest, raw, naked. You have values, everyone does, so show them! Remember you’re for the .001% of people who think like you do. These are the people who will shape your brand, your culture and your conversation. Remember, the lifetime value of your committed fanbase is far more important than selling one product to one person.


Entertain. The world could really use it right now.

Hayden | Dirty Jack

Hayden | Dirty Jack

Our man with a cam. We think the camera might actually be surgically attached to his hand. We aren’t saying that he’s Spielberg, we’re just saying we’ve never seen Hayden and Spielberg in the same room. He slipped into the creative director role like a fat penguin into the mouth of a killer whale, mmmm, penguin.

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