It’s likely that $1 billion or more will be spent on advertising during the 2012 Presidential race, even though few experts believe it will do much to sway voters. What it will most certainly accomplish is to further erode the value and utility of advertising as a tool for communicating truth.
The public relations industry's trade association is running a campaign to come up with a new definition for PR. I can see the problem, since social media technologies have democratized the tweaking, spinning, and obfuscating of the truth that used to be the exclusive purview of PR professionals. In an age when anyone can be an expert on anything, every opinion is as valid as the next and no fact need go unchallenged, contradicted, or ignored.
My recent essay in Advertising Age prompted quite a response, most of which was petulant and angry. I could have made my case more convincingly, but even with that said the comments revealed a shocking ignorance of recent history, and a willingness to replace reason with bluster.
I'd like to skip past any hint of commentary on religion, per se, and talk about Judaism's Passover holiday as the most brilliant ever crowdsourcing campaign.
Passover is the annual retelling of the story of Exodus, which most of us are familiar with thanks to Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 classic movie The 10 Commandments: Lots of good-looking Jewish slaves were working on Pharaoh's construction projects when their savior, Moses, kicks Edward G. Robinson's butt, whacks the Egyptians with ugly plagues, and leads his people to freedom.
The news coming out of Japan couldn't be worse for the American nuclear industry. Manufacturers, suppliers, and electric utilities must be cringing with every headline, as the information includes science, statistics, and security...all subjects that your average consumer is fairly incapable of understanding (and certainly not via short blasts of news).
We are all truth seekers. Authenticity rules today more than ever before. I recently wrote an article for Harvard Business Review about how brands can spark engagement and empowerment in their customers by telling the world what they’re against, rather than what they’re for (you can read it here).
NASA and an assorted bevy of astronomers and biologists recently admitted two mistakes of epic proportions: there are three times as many stars in the sky than they'd thought, and there's life on Earth based on elements that we didn't believe life could be based upon anywhere in the Universe, let alone here.
The latest WikiLeaks revelation that much of the American government's secret diplomatic cables read like entries in a mean girls' burn book has got politicians and pundits blathering about how it might affect foreign policy, guessing if/where Interpol could apprehend the group's founder, Julian Assange, and wondering when the next batch of secrets will be released (rumored to be Bank of America emails in which execs come across as, gasp, heartless capitalists).