If you live in or around New York, or I suppose just about anywhere on the Eastern Seaboard, over the past week, you've been inundated with something on the order of 20-inches of snow. New York's mayor, the imperial billionaire Michael Bloomberg, has taken quite a lot of heat for the torpid pace of snow removal--particularly in the outer boroughs. I happen to like Bloomberg. The city for the most part runs efficiently. He seems to be a good manager. We've been relatively scandal-free. And we've had none of the bombastic neo-fascist crony politics of Rudy Guiliani.
In any event, the onslaught and subsequent clearance of snow has led me to think of advertising. Yes, it has.
Right now, at least in Manhattan, major avenues are clear, and many side streets are being cleared. However, at many corners, snow is piled shoulder high, with no path cut out from the curb to the crosswalk. It makes getting around difficult, treacherous and soggy.
It occurred to me that the city has done a good job of mass--clearing the bulk, but a shitty job of targeted--clearing the way for pedestrians. What you really need for effective snow removal and effective marketing is a mixture of big shovels and targeted shoveling.
Snow, in my metaphor, is indifference. Mass media (plows) can begin to clear it away, but to finish the job, you likely need one-to-one efforts (shovels.)
Too many clients, agencies, etc. in an effort to assert the primacy of their particular media have ignored that it is a combination of forces that will yield the most effective results.