Advertising 2.0 or just Advertising 101?

futurelab default header

by: David Polinchock

I've been taking this week to catch up on lots of blog reading and I've decided just to tackle all of the questions I've come up with. I'll let you decide the answers!  Despite of of the hype, hoopla and congratulatory backslapping about all of the cool stuff we're doing, aren't we just promoting new tactics for the same old thing? Is this Advertising 2.0 or just Advertising 101?

With all of the talk of community and WOM and long tail, have we forgotten that this was the product/retail world worked before mass media? Isn't community the way business was done before mass media? We used to gather in a variety of third places (The Third Place – Wikipedia) that not only defined the products, but defined us as well? Doesn't it just seem like we're returning to those roots? To paraphrase, Those that don't know from history, always think they're doing something new!

With all of the talk about community and the like, how much of our industry works like a community? Do you have lunch/drinks within the company or is all of that social stuff just supposed to happen somewhere else?

If the job of advertising has always been to get people to stop and take notice, then what's the difference between old advertising and what we call viral today? In many cases, aren't we simply creating something that we think is cool enough to get people to stop without it really having anything to do with the experience of the brand or product?

Are we spending too much time trying to come up with cool ways for people to talk about a mediocre product rather then developing cool products that people actually want to talk about? Should agencies and CMO's be more involved in creating these cool products?

And when the audience gets tired of watching videos where people light their asses on fire — metaphorically speaking of course — what happens next? They say that people download 100 million videos a day. But I stop many videos before finishing them — am I the only person who does that — and couldn't tell you what I just watched? What about engagement? What happens when the inevitable cycle of usage appears (and it will!) and people realize that it's not really fun to watch someone else's bad content.

And what does any of this have to do with advertising, except that we've realized we need to be creative again because a) people have waaay too many other choices of things to watch to spend time with our crap and b) anyone with a web cam & laptop is a production company and everything they make is waaay better then anything that we make. Perception, after all, is reality.

We've been rallying around the battle cry about engagement and not just counting eyeballs and then myspace and youtube show up and we get all misty over big numbers again! What's up with that. And sure, myspace gets like 250,000 new users/day, but do we know how many myspace pages get abandoned every day? Do we know? Do we care?

Should we create a different measurement system for campaigns that create great business for the agency without necessarily creating great business for the client?

So, what do you think? Let the conversations begin!

Original Post: