(marketingmagazine.com.my) – by Paul J Loosley
Paraphrasing Robert Oppenheimer, the leader of the Manhattan Project, which was the code name for the development of the first Atomic Bomb in 1945. He famously said this on seeing the huge mushroom cloud of the first atom bomb test rise over the New Mexico desert.
He, in turn, was actually quoting (some say badly) from the Bhagavad Gita, part of the Mahabharata, the great Hindu scripture, Unsurprisingly, Oppenheimer was not just a scientist, he was also an expert on and a proficient reader of Sanskrit. (Get on with it. Ed).
OK I’m using this, I guess, as a response to Sky News describing the almost ceaseless and all-pervading Tweets, Facebook entries, Wikileaks etc. being used in the current, bitter and belligerent American presidential Election campaign as ‘weaponising the Internet.’
The media seems consumed with Tweets. Endlessly quoting them as if they are pure gold, the word from the mountain, the Gospels of the Millennium and the ‘millennials’. No, they bloody well are not!
They’re just a bunch of random bits from mostly dopey buggers with nothing better to do or say; folks who cannot generally string two reasonable sentences together, and are just as likely to walk under a bus while pumping their smart phones as draw breath. What’s more, I have begun to suspect the penchant for waterproof smart phones is so they can be watched, tweeted and surfed upon in the shower. (I’ve told you once. Ed)
Well sure, but what no-one in the media seems to be concerned about is that the election for the top job, in the most powerful country on Earth, is being fought in 140 characters or less. This is so low-brow that it is insulting. Cogent argument and policy of huge importance is reduced to what you can say in 25 words or so. Frankly folks, it’s terrifying. It’s a dumbing down of the world of positively ‘nuclear’ proportions.
Alright, what has that got to do with advertising I hear you say (at least the ones who have read further than 140 characters)?
To start, P&G, the world’s biggest advertiser, is now spending 1/3 of its US$18 billion budget on digital media. In and of itself, not such a bad thing one supposes, but in consequence, their Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller is quoted as saying, in Adage, that they have made US$370 million in cuts to agency and production fees last year and are making US$200 million this year, and so should reduce spending in the area from US$2 billion to US$1.5 billion annually. But he said that still leaves “more room to improve.” So, agencies’ creative is being side-lined and the quality of production ignored (sorry to break it to you but there is a direct correlation between cost and quality). So then who is producing the content?
Well possibly, it’s Jon himself. I mean, the only way to speak to a great mass of millions of people from all around the world is to work to the lowest common denominator. Remove the idea of engagement and imagination and just run the strategy. The strategy document contains…….
Paul Loosley is an English person who has been in Asia 38 years, 12 as a Creative Director, 20 making TV commercials. And in recent years, a brand consultant. And still, for some strange reason, he can’t shut-up about advertising. Any feedback; mail firstname.lastname@example.org (please keep it deep)
To read the full article next read MARKETING Magazine’s November-December issue.
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