Over at Bubblegeneration, Umair has posted some interesting thoughts about the value of "telling the truth" and some of the principles that are becoming truisms of new marketing:
does telling more of the truth make us better off? In other words, is the relationship between truth and advantage more powerful today than before?
This is a great question as real change (rather than gimmicky tactics) will only really take place once the economics of new marketing become clearer and more obvious.
what is the economic point (emphasis mine) of marketing in the post-network economy? Is it "facilitating" of discussion? Is it as shapers of messages? Is it "engagement"? What economic meaning do these fuzzy concepts have (if any)? Etc... The point here is that the economic rationale for marketing is undergoing tectonic shifts (and these shifts are only going to accelerate). These shifts point to the simple fact that the yesterday's economic rationale for marketing is, today, less and less valid.
It has been a while since I checked the number of posts that I have made here, but I just did: this is post # 1004, which means that Chroma has officially passed the 1000 post mark. Hooray!
Must say I'm rather proud to have stuck with this. There aren't a lot of things I really commit to; I get interested then bored quickly, too often. So this is something I can be proud of!
Many many thanks to those of you that bother to stop by here or subscribe to Chroma, and to people that have taken the time to post comments or send the occasional e-mail. And thanks to all of you that work hard on all of the great weblogs that I steal everything from; how would I have reached 1000 posts without you?!
I know I mentioned Leland just a few posts ago, but I wanted to also stick this little pic here on Chroma. Recently, I was speaking to a planner friend here in Toronto and going over some ideas of different types of planning, and it dawned on me that this chart sums up things nicely.
Leland points out that there is no one right way to think about or do things, so I shouldn't cover up the fact that I belong squarely in the bottom left quadrant of this diagram.
Money talks, and a growing number of consumer-generated video sharing websites are upping the ante, with cash-for-contribution incentives. The idea is not only to get better quality content, but also to increase awareness (and take on YouTube).
Revver, Break.com, iFilm and Metacafe are a few to keep an eye on. Will 2007 be the year that the better long tail content is more efficiently discovered, monetized and distributed? Some old media ideas adapting to exploit the trend?
There is a continuum from complete obscurity to minor "e-lebrity" to major motion picture star. The past year provided the tools for the long tail to infinitely grow. It will be interesting to see new models emerge that reward talent.
(Somewhat related: good piece on Influx about Old Media "getting" Web 2.0. Kind of like the flip side to this trend).
Highly recommended: Once In a Lifetime, a documentary on the rise (and fall) of the New York Cosmos, a precursor to sports-team-as-brand that is commonplace today.
This is a fascinating inside look at a cultural phenomenon that took off in the 70's, only to fizzle away as quickly as it burst into the consciousness of a country that previously couldn't care less about soccer.
The story is really well-told, doing a great job of linking a lot of the pieces that fell into place just at the right time: eccentric personalities, visionary entrepreneurs, media and cold hard cash. The New York Cosmos was the work of Warner Communications exec Steve Ross and the charismatic Ahmet Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, and became a powerful brand in a relatively short period of time. Anyone interested in how cultural brands are built will love this documentary, since the New York Cosmos were as strong a cultural brand as any other sports team before or since.
In the 70's my dad, very recent immigrant to Canada, became the GM of a Greek-Canadian soccer team here in Canada, and over the next 20 years or so, fought with evangelist-like passion for the spread of the game in Canada. Growing up, I constantly witnessed the frustration of trying to open up the market here to the beautiful game, both to other immigrants who had once been fans but came to adopt hockey or football once in Canada, and to other Canadians, who never gave the game a look to begin with. What is great about Once In a Lifetime is the way that the success of the New York Cosmos, and in time the league itself, is framed in a context that shows the role that media and marketing play in creating cultural movements. Passion and vision are important, necessary conditions, but they are not sufficient; changing mass opinion requires a little luck, a lot of smarts and a great deal of persuasion. The New York Cosmos hit on the formula, even for a short time, and the result was a frenzied following of packed stadiums. The fact that the success did not last only proves how difficult it can be to sustain cultural momentum.
Last point: the soundtrack is incredible: Kool and The Gang, Marlena Shaw, 4 Hero, Love Unlimited Orchestra and a lot more incredible music from the 70s round out the playlist. I was in heaven.
Several years ago, on a music and DJ message board I used to spend a lot of time on, a good friend and fellow DJ that popped by once was amazed that the members of this board were spending so much time talking about DJ'ing . "I never knew that there was so much to talk about with DJ'ing, it's really not that hard!", he said.
He was right: too much talk about DJ'ing was rather pointless; better to talk about music itself, because that's what inspires us to DJ. The rest is just idle chatter. Talking or writing about the theory of DJ'ing is far less interesting than actually doing it. Music is infinitely interesting while DJ'ing is just the means to an end, and a little less interesting really.
I remembered this when reading Russell's recent post (Brand Free until 2007), where he says: "It's not that complicated". While this may or not be true (if it were really that easy, more brands would get it right?), Russell's point is well taken. If the goal is to get brands to become part of culture, or become more socially relevant and interesting, then the challenging part is thinking about what culture is becoming. The building blocks themselves need to be talked about, organized and sorted out, isn't that more interesting than splitting hairs about planning definitions (to those of us newer to this, the arguments about positions/repositions/propositions have made our head hurt. mine at least).
More posts (not just from Russell, but in general in the planner-sphere) about other stuff that inspires would be refreshing. There are a lot of interesting things going in culture all the time, but few weblogs dig deep into some of these things (Grant McCracken's and John Grant's being exceptions). If ideas are to planning what music is to DJ'ing, then the question of what is more interesting is pretty obvious.