The End of Advertising
Why It Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come
A recovering Mad Man throws down the ultimate challenge to his profession: Innovate or die.
The ad apocalypse is upon us. Today millions are downloading ad-blocking software, and still more are paying subscription premiums to avoid ads. This $600 billion industry is now careening toward outright extinction, after having taken for granted a captive audience for too long, leading to lazy, overabundant, and frankly annoying ads. Make no mistake, Madison Avenue: Traditional advertising, as we know it, is over. In this short, controversial manifesto, Andrew Essex offers both a wake-up call and a road map to the future.
In The End of Advertising, Essex gives a brief and pungent history of the rise and fall of Adland—a story populated by snake-oil salesmen, slicksters, and search-engine optimizers. But his book is no eulogy. Instead, he boldly challenges global marketers to innovate their way to a better ad-free future. With trenchant wit and razor-sharp insights, he presents an essential new vision of where the smart businesses could be headed—a broad playing field where ambitious marketing campaigns provide utility, services, gifts, patronage of the arts, and even blockbuster entertainment. In this utopian landscape, ads could become so enticing that people would pay—yes, pay—to see them.
Praise for The End of Advertising
“New York media types aren’t quick to pass up a party, even one celebrating a book that predicts their demise. . . . The future of marketing will need to rely on creative, innovative models, Mr. Essex wrote, pointing to The Lego Movie and New York’s Citi Bike bicycle-share program as promising examples.”—The New York Times
“A rabble-rousing indictment of the ad industry from one of its own. Essex predicts that success will depend less on the ability to annoy and more on the capacity to create and entertain.”—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take
“Fresh and timely, The End of Advertising is an eye-opening take on the current media landscape. And along with it, Essex provides a road map for how brands can reinvent themselves and navigate this new world.”—Arianna Huffington
“In this dynamic little book, Essex challenges brands—even those of us who pride ourselves on thinking outside the box—to think bigger still. He’s got me thinking.”—Neil Blumenthal, co-founder of Warby Parker
“Mandatory reading for anyone who wants to get a message across in this age of authenticity.”—Alexis Ohanian, co-founder, Reddit