Monday, March 12, 2018

Optimism, macro and micro.

Everything is horrible. Everything is getting worse. We are on the brink of cataclysm and disaster. And there's no way out.

Talking to people you'll hear phrases like, "the internet is broken." "Education is broken." "The economy is broken." I've even heard of late that my very own gender (I am still gender binary) is broken.

In advertising, that which is left of it, we often hear that television is broken (or dead), that interruption is broken (or dead), that we can't reach anyone because no one cares anymore about advertising and advertising is broken.

Witnessing these warnings, proclamations and imprecations, I've been wondering lately if they all feed on each other. That the world is, in fact, laboring under something I call "the Pessimism Bubble."

That pessimism builds up the same way the housing market did in California, or tulips in Holland, or, even Teslas in Greenwich.

There's no money in being optimistic. Whereas if you are infinitely negative, you are good "headline." Five dead in East River helicopter crash gets readers. Its opposite wouldn't.

So the Trumpers who trumpet the end of the world gain speed. If we don't fight terrorists we will surely perish. We are on the brink of doom. Only I can fix it.

As for advertising, the pessimists have proclaimed that no channels are effective save the near-impossible "earned media," when a Hollywood star takes a picture with her Samsung Galaxy 11 or something.

TV we're told was something past (dumber) generations sat blindly in front of just waiting to do as they were told.

My guess is TV is no more or no less effective than its ever been. People always left their sets to get a Tonino's pizza roll from the Frigidaire. And I'd wager that people today go to the bathroom no more or no less than people from TV's purported halcyon days in the 50s.

It's easy to say things are dead, broken, on life-support. Or that they need to be disrupted, whatever that means.

My two cents says such proclamations are less-founded on truth and more based on a prevailing wind.

A wind that says everything is rotten.

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