Quality-based rates for ad space?

February 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm Leave a comment

Time reported that the “average amount paid to NBC for a 30-second commercial in the Super Bowl” this year was a whopping $3.5 million. And while I am definitely frustrated that this money wasn’t spent in a manner with more dynamic benefits (just ask the branding and web strategy firm btrax for some examples), I’m also frustrated that the commercials weren’t better designed.

As Stuart Elliott of the New York Times reported (Feb 5, 2012):

“Too many commercials fell back on tactics that were too familiar from a plethora of Super Bowl spots: anthropomorphic animals, second-class celebrities, slapstick violence and riding the coattails of popular culture. Risk-taking, rule-breaking ideas were as hard to find among the more than 50 commercials as good taste in a GoDaddy ad.”

So, February 18’s daily design idea is why not charge for ad space based on quality of ad?

photo of billboards in Times Square from 2003, by Flickr user ElvertBarnes

I know that quality is subjective, and that this idea would be difficult (if not impossible) to implement, but just imagine how great it could be. Consumers would experience better quality advertising. Agencies and their clients would have more incentive to make design quality a top priority. Smaller agencies and clients with small budgets would have a greater chance at exposure. And anyone profiting from the sale of ad space would still find high bidders from clients who could afford to pay for the exposure, but either couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for the higher quality design services.

What do you think?


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