What keeps the Senior Vice President of Media at Bank of America up at night isn’t the fear of digital advertising fraud, transparency or viewability. It’s ad blocking, and Lou Paskalis says a main conversation at this year’s Cannes advertising confab must address a different approach to engaging with consumers.

Ad blocking, Paskalis says in an interview with Beet.TV, “is consumers telling us ‘we don’t want your inferior crap. Your inferior crap is interfering with my content consumption.’”

Contrary to what many advertising practitioners are espousing, Paskalis is convinced the answer does not rest on creating better quality ads with which to bombard people, particularly as they are engrossed with smartphones or tablets. He suggests taking a “clean sheet of paper” and a retrospective look at the advertising industry, given the advances in data and technology that yield insights into the mindset, motivations and “need state” of individuals.

“This is an amazing opportunity for marketers to think differently and we’re still taking an advertising mindset in there and I don’t think that’s going to work,” Paskalis says. “Consumers are desperately swiping ads away to get to the content they want.”

It’s no longer about advertisers sponsoring content that publishers have traditionally created, according to Paskalis. It’s about marketers creating relevant content and “thinking about products as solutions for customers’ needs. And it’s understanding the signals when the solution would be relevant to that consumer and prioritizing that.”

He believes that a lot of the conversation at Cannes is going to be about how to pivot from “the well-worn path that we’re on in terms of how we define return on advertising investment today” to a new set of return metrics. Paskalis advocates a move from a transaction mindset, particularly in digital, in which “in this interaction I want to sell you something to a relationship mindset where in this interaction I want to build our relationship stronger so that you’ll be more likely to transact with me at some point in the future. Taking a long-term view of the customer.”

We interviewed him as part of our preview series “The Road to Cannes” presented by FreeWheel.   Please visit this page for additional segments. 

"The Road to Cannes," presented by FreeWheel