For about 60 years now, or maybe more depending how you're doing your math, we have had "fast food."
For about the last ten years or so--again, depending on your calculus, we have had "fast fashion."
In each case, the long-term value of the product is sublimated to the desire for cheap, uniform and ubiquitous.
Until recently, I'd say, there was very little consideration paid to the real value of either fast food or fast fashion. Deleterious effects on one's health. Or environmental and socio-economic hazards.
If you want to characterize our present era in advertising and marketing, I think we could say that vast industry forces are compelling us to produce "fast advertising. Fast communications."
More and more often an agency's "edge" is their "speed-to-market" and their ability to produce cheaply.
What fast advertising winds up being, of course, is marketing fast food. It's advertising with no nutritional value. With empty intellectual or emotional calories. It is glib--it looks nice but has no substance. And it is undifferentiated.
I am always set back on my heels when I get to the "insights" portion of a brief or a discussion. Most often those insights are proffered by someone who's never used the product or who is 20 years distant from the target audience. Most often insights are simply verities. Things like "people prefer hot coffee (often with milk and a sweetener) in the morning. In warmer months, they sometimes drink iced coffee."
Just as fast fashion and fast food are the enemies of the intrinsic value of those goods, fast advertising is the enemy of effective communication.
It may look gleaming and delicious.
It may look "designer."
But looks alone are the barest and most shallow of facades.
Advertising if it's to be effective, must be real and true and extraordinary.
To get at the real, true and extraordinary takes thinking and time.
And you can't just supersize it.
By the way, Mark Bittman of "The New York Times," writes today about the aims of the "Slow Food Movement." Slow Food
Would that there were a "Slow Advertising" movement