According to some, we are in the last throws of the Western democratic industrial model. Plagues, crumbling economies, migration, inequality of access to food, shelter, income and healthcare, as well as climate change, are all indicators of the beginning of the end, say doomsday believers.
Some people like to add that the end must be near, because we are living in a decadent society which is losing touch with its morals and basic believes. And I am almost ready to believe them when I take the following, totally subjective and self-observed occurrences, into consideration.
First proof point: since going off cable, and full-time on streaming, my family is now being held hostage by the power of poorly functioning ad serving algorithms. During the live evening news, watched via the app of our local news station, we sometimes get served the same Chevy Equinox or Chevy Truck Month ad seven times, back-to-back. In three or more consecutive breaks. I do not know if Chevy has tested this tactic as successful, but I hate Chevy for it, along with its media agency and my local news station. This is what you get from a crappy programmatic algorithm, a lazy agency and station, and a non-capped reach and frequency incentivized media plan. It demonstrates a pure lack of media plan management morals.
Second proof point: ads on TV for stuff I did not know needed ads on TV for. Or needed mentioning at all. There is Pete Davidson selling a product called “Manscape." It is a shaver you are supposed to use for all your body hair. Everywhere.
At the same time, P&G is singing the praises of pubic hair in a catchy tune for Gillette, wanting to “unshame” the having of body hair. I think we can agree the end of times are near if we both promote the having of, and the not having of bodily hair, in TV ads, in one ad break.
Third proof point: spending money on celebrities and then giving them splashy marketing titles, as if the sponsorship deal really is some kind of employment agreement. The latest I saw reported on Bloomberg: “Kate Moss has been appointed creative director of Diet Coke as the brand celebrates its 40th year. The catwalk star, 48, will partner with some of the world's leading fashion houses as part of a new campaign to promote the drink using the slogan "Love What You Love."
To use a British description: what a load of bollocks. What really happened here is “we paid Kate Moss to appear in our ads and some of our events." Diet Coke is trying to pretend something that isn’t what it is. Surely another sign, right?
Marketers continue to feel overwhelmed. Mediapost reported on that this week: “Marketers are overwhelmed by their workloads. For one thing, they have far too many sources to wade through to get the information they need, according to Marketing Trends Report, a study from Airtable.” And they continue to be fired and replaced faster than you can say “integrated marketing strategy”.
I hope that the examples mentioned here are merely a proof point of stressed-out marketing leaders who got lost wading through far too many sources for data and insights, and that it is not the beginning of the end of marketing and Western Civilization as we know it.
And that is a positive, right?