Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Thomas Friedman had an important op-ed in "The New York Times" yesterday. While it was about the larger issues facing the world today, as almost always, I saw parallels in it to the Advertising Industry. You can read the whole thing here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/16/opinion/whos-the-decider.html?hp
Here's the part that made me think about us:
"Yes, it’s true that in the hyperconnected world, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, the people are more empowered and a lot more innovation and ideas will come from the bottom up, not just the top down. That’s a good thing — in theory.
"But at the end of the day — whether you are a president, senator, mayor or on the steering committee of your local Occupy Wall Street — someone needs to meld those ideas into a vision of how to move forward, sculpt them into policies that can make a difference in peoples’ lives and then build a majority to deliver on them.
"Those are called leaders. Leaders shape polls. They don’t just read polls. And, today, across the globe and across all political systems, leaders are in dangerously short supply."
And that in a nutshell is part of the trouble in Advertising today. We have tactics and theories bouncing around caroming everywhere like atoms in a cyclotron. What we don't have is a plan. A mission. A linkage to a brand idea.
You know, we are missing "with all Thy getting, get understanding."
We are all shouting.
We are all making things.
Multiplying tactics like rabbits mainlining Cialis.
And it is all so much noise.
What we need is clarity, direction, vision.
That's how you separate chatter from matter.