Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday morass.

There's a new service in New York--a ride sharing service--called Via. Like Uber, you set your pick-up and drop-off destination and a car shows up in five to 10 minutes. You might have to share a ride with a couple other passengers, but that's ok. The fare--even from way East where I live to way West where I work is only $5. About the same speed as a cab for about the same price as the subway.

As a consequence of Via, yellow cabs are easier to get. But no one wants them. They're twice the price or more as a Via. So when you're standing on a corner, it's not unusual to have a yellow cab drive slowly past you and honk. They want you as a fare.

To me, honking cabs--cabs trying with desperation to get your attention is a perfect metaphor for our business.

We no longer want most of the services brands are offering, so rather than offering something we do want, brands just bring on the noise.


At 57, I have stopped for the most part being a consumer.

Verizon and AT&T and T-Mobile and Sprint spend about $6 billion on broadcast. It's meaningless to me. McDonalds and their fast-food ilk spend another couple billion. Also meaningless. The automotive companies spend double digit billions, meaningless.

They can't get my attention, so they shout.

Which drives me further away.

Of course, television networks and stations are complicit in this. Since they no longer get the price they want for commercial time, they lengthen the number of commercials they show, which drives me further away.

Even when I watch something on PBS--allegedly commercial-free, I count a dozen or so commercials. One is usually from a foundation sponsored by the Koch Brothers. The anti-environment, climate-change-denying, reactionary John Birch Koch Brothers.  Dear PBS, if you take their money, you don't need mine.

I guess you could call this a Bad Mood Monday.

That our industry has built a vicious circle of inattention feeding shrill bombast.

No one listens, so let's shout louder.

None of this will be discussed at Cannes. It will be like Badenheim in 1939. As the Germans march in, we complain that our coffee is lukewarm.

Something needs to be done.

That doesn't involve self-praise and cheap trophies.

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