Conquesting

by Rob Horning

11 June 2007

 

Before reading this WSJ article, I had never heard of conquesting, and would have assumed it had something people did in World of Warcraft, not a proxy war waged by companies through the means of ad placement.

In an increasingly popular form of online advertising, marketers are taking out ads right next to editorial content about their rivals. The aim is to convert consumers from one brand to another—and also to issue a public challenge.

While it may seem as though the existence of competing and contested claims would make the marketplace that much more opaque and confusing, it strikes me as a clear victory for consumers. If companies are directing their ads at one another, that means they are failing to target their natural enemies, shoppers, who are instead being alerted to the disingenuous of the medium of advertisements themselves. Rather than getting people to change allegiances, seeing companies refute each other’s claims and poses likely leads people to consider all ads with more skepticism. It could theoretically work like negative campaigning, which is routinely alleged to turn off voters from the political process altogether. Perhaps conquesting has the same effect on shoppers.

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Best of the Moving Pixels Podcast: Further Explorations of the Zero

// Moving Pixels

"We continue our discussion of the early episodes of Kentucky Route Zero by focusing on its third act.

READ the article