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    March 28, 2007


    alex w.

    garfield is a great example of old-school thinking trying desperately to come to terms with the new realities. he had already lost me with listenomics (celebrating the so called user-generated ads), and he is a dangerously close to confusing the marketing community further, since he is after all an important thought leader to the industry.
    i wonder whether ad age would let you do a face-off with him to get the right thinking out there prominently...
    the one point that i would push even further is that of 'content'. imho content is merely the vehicle for a higher goal to gain john's coined brand enthusiasm, and that is meaning. i think the strongest brands today have a larger meaning. they play an important role in people's lives. and diverse content -- mulitple layers of invovlement (in bad marketing consultant speak) -- is the way to bring that meaning to life, to engage people deeper. shit, there have been so many great debates lately: simplicity vs. complexity, old-school brand strength (e.g. interbrand metrics) vs. brand enthusiasm, and now this.
    go get em, gareth!


    i really like that thought of larger meaning actually demanding multiple layers of involvement. smart as always alex. but i disagree with the idea of the head to head. there's a lot better thinkers out there than me to tackle bob.

    Steve Hall

    Well said Gareth. There's too much doomsaying out there. People are resilient. We in the ad industry are resilient. We will adapt. We will change. This stuff doesn't happen overnight and there will be no cobwebs rolling down the proverbial Madison Avenue. Consumers will alter their media consumption habits and we will adapt to them. Consumers change behavior much slower than some of us would like to think. I don't think there's chaos on the horizon, just change and a lot of it.


    as I've said before Steve, despite the merchants of doom, I fervently believe there has never been a more exciting time to work in this industry. Lots of change=lots of opportunities.


    Phew, do you feel better now? :)

    I completely agree with your view - the reality is that too many companies equate brand with sales ... and whilst all brands HAVE to be profitable, there are 2 other aspects that have to be accepted ...

    1. Communication is a small [but significant] cog in the production of a profitable brand - so all emphasis should NOT be placed on ads/marketing and yet increasingly, it seems this is the 'excuse' why many companies say we are not working for them.

    2. A brand is something adored by consumers hearts AND wallets ... and so with many companies just focusing on their short-term/long-term profit, it means they are actually creating a well distributed product, not a true brand. [ie: something that has emotional relevance and meaning in their lives, even if it is not something commonly used/considered]

    However interms of marketing, CONTENT is the vital factor.

    Sure, media placement is critical - but with so much information all screaming out to be heard ... the ability to attract, engage and enthuse consumers is the ultimate goal/skill - which is why I believe adland can still be a relevant force in an overly dominated Management Consultantcy society.

    The real issue between marketing of the past and marketing of the future is that we now have silo'd ourselves so much that we don't work together, we just talk about how WE ARE THE DOMINANT FORCE to fulfill clients goals - which is both shortsighted, harmful and ineffective. [to the industry, clients and consumers]


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