Ad Age is devoting major space to a marketing conundrum that we see in email fundraising as well: hammering the list causes responses to drop off, and we respond by doing more of what caused the trouble in the first place:
Like a fly repeatedly bouncing off a closed window, the ad industry is trying to fix the problem by doing more of the same. That is, by creating more ads. What that absurdly cliched mission statement of “cutting through the clutter” has really yielded is an industry that shotgun blasts commercial messages into sexy new places as quick as it can identify them, whether it’s emerging digital platforms or nooks and crannies in an increasingly buyable physical world — dry-cleaning bags, coffee cups, door hangers and even houses. Yes, clutter is leading to more clutter.