Good post by Paul Dunay talks about the one word that defines the future of advertising: contextual.  This marketing consultant would leave it at “context,” but who’s counting?

The point is the same.  Advertising has evolved from scream/push to whatever-you-want-to-call-it-now (pull, collaborative, contextual, micro-cast). 

The best way to understand contextual advertising is to understand Google Adwords, or sponsored search in general.  You bid on search terms that relate to your product or service, and based on your bid, your ad is served when people search on that term.  Your ad is shown in context.  It isn’t broadcast.  It isn’t shown in a magazine subscribed to by people who loosely fit your demographic or reside in your industry.  It’s shown in context of when people are demonstrating an interest in what you sell by searching on a related term.  As the cartoon guy used to say in the beer commercial, “Brilliant!”

And brilliant it is.  Think about it.  The billions generated in ad revenues for Google and the billions in sales this form of advertising generates for its advertisers from 95 naked little characters (including spaces!!).  How else could something so stripped down be so powerful, without the benefit of context?