Monday, June 4, 2007

Will Madison Avenue become Detroit?

Not long ago, I had General Motors as a Client and let me tell you, Detroit is scary. They make a product fewer and fewer people want. They've lost entire generations of customers. Their advertising is lies. Their dealers are liars. And they do nothing about any of the above that isn't cosmetic.

So here's the question. Will advertising agencies follow Detroit's route? In other words, will they ignore cheaper, faster, smarter as Detroit did? ("Japanese cars will never amount to much" was a prevailing Detroit-ism for decades.)

Cheaper, faster, smarter in the case of the advertising industry is, of course, non-traditional marketing. And so far, the agency behemoths I grew up with--those that are left--are still treating non-traditional marketing as "below-the-line," i.e. they'll add it to the media mix but they won't embrace it. Kind of like Detroit and alternatives to internal combustion, ya know.

Well, my two cents say, that unless Madison Avenue starts singing a new tune (or jingle) no amount of internet chrome is going to alter the underlying reality of their structural rot. Allocating a small bit of client budget to non-traditional so you can go on burping out increasingly ineffective and ineffectual 30s is going to be your death knell.

As Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz tells us--the information age is over. The participation age is here. Detroit--er, Madison Avenue, better soon understand that. And stop pushing out commericals and start inviting people to really participate.

1 comment:

Tore Claesson said...

Dear Geo,
so far this is great blog.
keep it up.