The ultimate accolade to Crispin Porter - the spoof site. It's pretty funny, and probably true of the dreams of the CEOs and CMOs of many of the big networks. In fact, could one be behind this? Or, have Crispin struck first?
Just finished reading the new Malcolm Gladwell book, Blink. It's a great read, but like the Tipping Point before I was left with a somewhat empty feeling. A lot of commentators call Gladwell the newest business guru, and one of the most important. Yet, I see very little fresh thinking in his work. Blink essentially is the story of the latest developments in neuropsychology, in particular the work (which is uncredited) by Robert Heath into Low Involvement Processing. The Tipping Point was built around the work of the economist Thomas Schelling. Is Gladwell a great thinker or is he really a great storyteller who makes science popular?
According to the New York Times, Volkswagen has paid $200 million for a multi-year product placement deal for its vehicle in NBC/Universal TV and film properties. Many have said this is another sign of the coming of age of product placement. I think it's a sign of the world gone mad. Do they really think they're going to sell vehicles through association with Ben Stiller and Will and Grace? Sure, product placement can play a role, but like all other elements of the brand mix, it's one part of a bigger picture. And I don't think that part is worth that much. Drivers Wanted? More like, brains wanted.
So, for all you people working in the industry what are your New Year's resolutions? Here are my hopes:
1. We stop all the BS over guerilla media/media neutrality/yada yada. Let's just be honest and remember an idea is an idea. Communication pollution is not the answer.
2. We get truthful about brands before we destroy what we built. A washing powder is a washing powder. Not an educational aid for children.
3. We place brands in realistic context. Very few things truly make life better.
4. We stop all this consumer-centric nonsense. Yes, we have to respect people (see points 1-3 above). But, we have to remember the next great idea will not come from twenty focus groups. It will come from an inner sense of purpose about what a brand could deliver.