After a long day at work I make my way home. Twenty minutes later, I lay back on the couch in a comfy sweater; it’s time to unwind. On my laptop I browse Spotify for the right playlist and between ‘genres & moods’ I find ‘chill’, which is exactly what I was looking for. About 3 minutes into Coldplay’s ‘Magic’, my mind is becoming more and more relaxed. Until the music stops.

Unfortunately I don’t have Spotify premium, so I’m forced to listen to an unappealing, 30 second advertisement of a local recruitment agency. It’s a remarkably unremarkable advertisement; one that my mind would normally have automatically ignored. But not this time.

This time, I’m abruptly and invasively pulled away from my ‘chill’ playlist and forced to listen to what could quite possibly be one of the most uninteresting radio ads ever produced. While I guess it’s good business for Spotify (I’m seriously considering the Premium alternative now), it’s bad for the advertiser.

Advertisers always aim to create a positive impression with the consumer. That’s the goal. And to achieve this, normally advertisers communicate positive emotions to build a connection between people and their brand. And even in the case of ‘sadvertising‘ – when advertisers pull on consumer’s heartstrings – these emotions can create positive associations with the brand. But annoying people has never worked out well for any company.

All of this might seem obvious to the advertiser who continuously tries to create remarkable advertising, but not every advertiser falls into that category. The advertiser that’s merely trying to reach more and more people might end up building negative brand associations.

The thing is that we tend to forget that times have changed. Today, the power no longer lies with the marketeer, the adman or the adwoman; the power lies with the consumer. He or she chooses what to buy and what not to buy. So let’s remind ourselves that we can’t force people into buying our products; we can only interest them in it.