When I was a kid I learned something when playing sports with my friends that has direct bearing on life in advertising today.
When I was a kid and we were gathered on some dusty field or some mottled asphalt and we were choosing up sides, the best guy to pick was not the most talented athlete, the one who could run the fastest or jump the highest.
No, the most important pick you could make was to choose the guy with the loudest voice. Invariably there would be an argument which would decide the outcome of the game. If your team had the loudest voice, you would win the argument and the contest.
I think this construction has made its way into advertising, too. We chase after tactic du jour and the medium of the moment. Things get hot or important or 'will change everything,' because someone with a very loud voice has said so. And no one dare oppose that voice.
Everyday, it seems, someone with a loud voice shouts something and scores of people snap to.
Remember when Google+ was going to take over the world?
And Four Square.
And Second Life.
And when Facebook likes were important.
Some jerk just shouted somewhere that we are post everything and history no longer matters.
Someone else is shouting that responsive design won't replace native apps.
Someone else is bellowing about Instagram being the key to world peace.
All these flashes in the pan were promoted loudly and without legitimacy.
They have all withered.
Those loud voices shout.
But little of what they say endures.