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April 22, 2008

The end of advertising as we know it

You don't have to have a triple-figure IQ to know that something is happening here, do you, Mr. Jones?

I read with interest Suzanne Vranica's April 17, 2008 Wall Street Journal article headlined "Agency's Work for PepsiCo Fizzles Out" about how Omnicon's Element 79, once the darling of the bleeding edge advertising world for its commercials starring Michael Jordan, Mia Hamm and friends sweating colored Gatorade droplets, has been dumped due to PepsiCo being "... dissatisfied with Element 79's recent creative work...."

Memo to PepsiCo: It isn't the agency that's the problem.

So habituated are all major corporations to the worn-out axioms of 20th century marketing, that all you need to do is create a great commercial and then pound it into the viewer's head like a stake into the ground, over and over and over, repeating the very same commercial not just the same day but within the framework of the same show, sometimes in successive commercials minutes apart, again and again and again, believing the viewer has no choice — or inclination — to do anything other than sit there in a stupor watching it, that the tectonic revolution happening right beneath their feet isn't even registering on their what's happening meters.

Guess what?

We click and leave now when we're bored — or when we know we're about to be.

Why do you think so many people read bookofjoe?

Wait a minute....

Our remotes have mute buttons and can surf beautifully the instant something repetitive and annoying appears.

Even the funniest joke becomes irritating when it's retold ten times a day.

Without further ado, then, joe's 3 Commandments for 21st Century TV Advertising:

1) Thou shalt not repeat a commercial within an hour of its last showing — anywhere in the same time zone.

2) Thou shalt not spend a fortune making any one commercial or series of them, since they're never gonna come remotely close to earning back their cost.

3) Thou shalt therefore realize, o corporations and ad agencies, that the future of your products lies in taking off the tunnel vision blinders and not just looking in different directions but seeing with different eyes. If you can't do that from within, find them outside your corporate confines. Remember that reality goes not just sideways and forward and backward and up and down but moves as well in time. Use the fourth dimension — or it will use and crush you.

April 22, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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A bit short-sighted coming from one who's livelihood you are threatening. It's been true for years that large corporations take a long time to change, think piloting a supertanker. Rest assured the weasels will find new and inventive ways to market their junk, think book of joe.

Posted by: Nick | Apr 23, 2008 1:31:55 PM

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