Thursday, May 10, 2012

Coming apart.

Charles F. Murray, author of "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, is nothing if he's not controversial.  In his book he decries the splintering of our nation. He sees a world where we are divided into "Belmont" and "Fishtown."

Belmont is well-heeled, well-educated, well-parented and well-married. It is a world that is much like America was during the booming 1950s. Fishtown is different. Households are often led by just one parent. College is largely out of the question. Greater poverty, drug use and unemployment are prevalent.

Most disturbing by Murray's accounts is the bifurcation of our society. Belmontites and Fishtowners seldom come into contact. They don't work for the same companies. Shop in the same stores. Live in proximity. Go to the same schools.

A similar dichotomy exists in the modern American advertising agency. It seems some part of the agency looks at the media market and says 70 to 80 cents of each marketing dollar are spent on TV. TV is most important.

Others say, I never watch TV or find it banal. I spend my life online, therefore apps and Facebook and Twitter are most important.

There is a divide. A coming apart.

What seems most redolent is a divorce between the rarefied circumstances of agency people and people who actually consume.

Do we, anymore, know our consumer. Know how they live, think, feel, buy? Do we understand their concerns, fears, senses of humor?


We're too busy trying to be cool.

No comments: