Saturday, October 6, 2007
If you are of the baby-boom generation like I am, you grew up being warned "don't believe everything you read." Such an imprecation had a chastening effect on marketers and advertising people. We looked to convey permissions to believe. We tried (and we're trained) to write convincing communications about 5-link suspensions, personal computers, vacation destinations. We created to overcome skepticism (a healthy dosage of doubt).
Today, the prevailing ethos "don't believe anything you read." We are lied to so often and so incessantly that marketing words themselves have lost complete meaning (as have the words of politicians and other authorities.) Despite Herr Goebbels assertion that people will believe the "big lie" if it's repeated often enough--hence our "perpetual war for perpetual peace," the healthy skepticism of previous eras has been replaced by unhealthy cynicism.
So advertisers and marketers and politicians instead try to convey and ever-so-hip "we're one of you" attitude in their communications. "Yeah, we've got that." vs. "We run the tightest ship in the shipping industry."
I have no answers. I suppose this has all been motivated by Condoleeza Rice promising Blackwater (Schvartzvasser) oversight and G. Walker Bush saying our government doesn't torture.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 8:54 AM