Media X: Youth Movement

Is there any product, service or politician that even comes close to symbolizing what's wrong with our country better than Slydial? I mean, seriously, mobile voicemail as a covert op?

And The New York Times illustrates its article on this breakthrough in fuck-you technology (you can leave a mobile voicemail and the phone doesn't show a call coming in) with the anecdote and a photo of a hot young blonde who "works in marketing in Manhattan" and used Slydial to dump a dude.

Charming. What a wonderful way to sum up the state of a society in irreversible decline. And what's with this army of 20something career chicklets in Manhattan? Isn't there anyone else to photograph, or give a book deal to? Because if it isn't about sex, they don't want to know.

Look, their starlet counterparts in Cali, our little panties-challenged sociopaths, are supposed to be vapid. But New Yawk girls are supposed to have some intellectual oomph. More substance to recommend them than the ability to swallow.



This just illustrates once again my grave concern for the future state of marketing in North America. Because the young masters and mistresses of the universe who will soon take stewardship of your budgets share the same myopia that makes someone think something like Slydial is cool.

In a nutshell: if it didn't happen before they were born, it didn't happen. I don't mean it isn't important. I don't mean they don't think it's relevant anymore. I mean they don't think it happened.

I'm calling out every agency leader, every CMO, anybody whose lifespan is greater than a pair of sturdy socks, to start giving history lessons to the kids running your communications. And do it fast, or these ugly pretty things will ruin your business faster than you can post a protest.

The problem with young stars isn't their intelligence; they're all smarter than their elders. No, the crisis will come because while they can navigate a digital marketplace effortlessly, their lack of institutional knowledge, ignorance of marketing history and knee-jerk dismissal of anything that preceded them makes them one-trick ponies.

They don't even like the word "marketing." And the dumping on ad agencies is getting old, already. That digital agent of change act is a workable strategy for a garage band, an energy drink, a social-network site.

I don't think Unilever or Toyota or any other mainstream power player that sells a ton of crap to the broadest possible audience can make much use of it, besides niche brands like Axe or Scion.

The kids are undeniably talented, but they're unintentional hypocrites. Communication elitists. Marketing bigots.

And they're gonna run things. Like, tomorrow.

So teach your children well.

A substantive, industry-wide, process-driven mentorship campaign can save the future. Pair up each grizzled pro in your shop with a staffer under 30. Give the kids some context. Maybe we'll end up with a whole new generation of extraordinarily effective communicators who can do great work in any channel. Even, you know, magazines and stuff.

You don't even need to send out a memo. Just Slydial the cheeky little devils.

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