“Here we are now, entertain us” is a lyric from the Nirvana song Smells Like Teen Spirit. A classic. The need to be entertained is a very human trait. Generally, when you go to the movies or turn on the TV you are seeking entertainment — news shows aside. Is Facebook about entertainment? And if so, what percentage? Forrester or the Altimeter Group should do a research study to find out what people are actually doing on Facebook. It might help with their monetization model.
When people use search engines, what percent of their queries are about entertainment? People read books for entertainment, but many only read nonfiction. Is that entertainment? Humans are complex animals and require different levels of entertainment but one area where we overdo it is in advertising. Just look at the ads on the Super Bowl. Advertising isn’t supposed to make you warm and happy so that when the selling proposition is delivered you are smiling, ads are supposed to make you feel something, then do something.
Ad agents, be they traditional or digital, need to dial down the entertainment factor and dial up the selling factor. Entertainment is easy, especially poor entertainment. Selling and persuading are hard. Consumers need reasons to buy. Peace!