First we need to read a story to understand the potential of advertisement. This story goes back to October 1929, when Wall Street crashed. This shocked the United States with a combination of deflation and public fear about the economy. This event lasted for one year and known as "The Great Depression."
Businesses struggled to sell their products, which eventually led to massive unemployment. Unemployment reduced people's income, which in turn reduced their ability to consume. All these events overlapped each other, which ended in a depressive economic cycle. This sent the country into a financial free-fall.
Finding a job wasn't easy, and businesses struggled to sell their products. The apple (the fruit) industry was no exception. Either they sold their produce or were forced to let it rot and go to waste. To push their apples to the consumers, farmers started promoting "apple stands" on the streets of New York. These stands helped them distribute the apples while also helping the unemployed earn some money.
The program was a huge success. Selling apples (instead of begging) gave men a sense of pride while they fought for their future. It wasn't easy though. Up to 6,000 men and women sold apples in New York City during the this period. Everyone was shouting on each and every corner of the city to sell apples. No one was sitting there quietly. All sellers were shouting to get buyers' ATTENTION.
Now, in modern world these shout-outs are still present, but increasingly in the digital world. Multi-billion dollar companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, all are selling the most valuable asset on earth: ATTENTION. Attention is at the core of our new economy. It is the most valuable resource on earth because without it, we won't sell anything.
97% of Google's revenue comes from online pay-per-click advertising. Google generated $134.8 billion in 2019 from ads, nearly 2 times more than Facebook's ad revenue of $69.7 billion. Amazon's 2019 ad revenue was of $14.1 billion and YouTube made $15 billion.
In our new world nothing is more important than catching people's attention. With huge amount of data and analytics, these companies indeed have the power to penetrate your mind and redirect you to places where your interests collide with the sellers.