There's a myopia running around that is nearly as virulent as small pox was in 1918 or the plague was in the 1300s. It's the notion that now, today, lately, no one believes in advertising.
I'm not debating whether or not this statement is true. What I am debating is the notion that no one believes in advertising is a new one.
It seems to me that Generation End of Alphabet has this misguided view of the world before them. That they somehow conceive people of my generation, or my parents', or my parents' parents' generation were without cynicism and doubt when it came to advertising. They were fools, don'tcha see, who couldn't see through the blandishments and come ons of Madison Avenue.
All they had to see on TV was a little hammer knocking inside someone's head and they imagined they themselves had a headache and they went out and bought Anacin or some such. We were dumb, docile and dupable. All you had to do was tell us to buy something and we bought it.
The fact of the matter is, people have always been skeptical about advertising. Certainly when I grew up in the 60s and 70s, we were probably more questioning than today's generations. When Vietnam was raging, we heard government death statistics on the radio every evening--statistics that tried to tell us the US was winning the war. We knew those were lies. We weren't stupid.
If anything, I'd say that today's generations are more susceptible to advertising than previous generations. For instance, they seldom go anywhere without being festooned by logos, mini advertisements for brands they support.
I know of no evidence whatsoever that today's consumer is any more or any less resistant to advertising than any previous generation of consumers. What's different is there is now a generation of know-it-alls who seem to take particular delight in telling the world that they are smarter and better than every previous generation. (This is the same generation that wears wool hats when it's 80 degrees out, spends $7 for a cup of slave-labor coffee and sports flip flops in the city filth in the rain.)
It's so much blather. Another chapter to file under the heading "This Will Change Everything."