It’s taken a while, but over the last year or more I’ve identified a trend. Am I alone or does it seem like broadcast advertising has lost its teeth?

I first started thinking about this after last year’s Super Bowl. Since my team wasn’t on the field, it gave me more time to focus on my true love—the commercials. But watching them wasn’t as fun as it used to be. I was not alone in my disappointment. Over time this sentiment persists.

I think the reason goes deep into our every day.

First, as a direct marketer—data and relevant messaging are critical to my satisfaction with marketing. Done well, its engaging and relatable. Done poorly, it can be a real turn-off. Not attempted at all, for me that’s the real bummer.

Right about now you’re probably thinking that I’m missing the point. Television advertising is not a 1-to-1 (or as we say here at Third Story/HackerAgency, a P-to-P) medium. By nature those advertisers won’t have access to same types of audience data.

Bingo. Our world has shifted. Each day we are faced with more and more messaging. Whether because we see the shoes or hotels we browsed last night while we read our news online, or because our email prompts us regarding something else we shopped for entirely—all of these (by some counts 10,000 a day!) impressions have changed the rules.

We expect more.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m very happy to just be entertained by my TV. If a brand can make me laugh out loud or leverage my emotions, I can be captivated to the point that I’m willing to “take off my direct-hat.” It just doesn’t happen as often as it used to.

There are lots of reasons why this may be happening. What I’ve observed is a safe zone that makes certain direct and digital work stand out that much more. Relevant. Efficient. And interesting.