When I started my career in marketing and advertising in 1985, the world I operated in—and the rules for success– were clear. The smartest brands spent loads of money on advertising, and then spent more loads on high-priced media to blast their message to consumers (those loads paid for our expensive agency TV Shoots and our nifty client dinners at Montrachet- the ones with the $250 bottles of wine). The media companies—like TV Networks- functioned as the “connective tissue” between brand advertisers like Sony and Coke and the “target audience” (because what passed for “targeting” in those days was declaring that you wanted to reach the “18-34 demographic”). If you wanted to tell a whole lot of people that Wendy’s had more beef and the competition only had a big fluffy bun (like my former boss Cliff Freeman did in his epic “Where’s the beef” TV spot), you needed ABC, NBC, CBS and the cable networks to get that message to your potential customers. And all of it unfolded under the controlled, measured pace of our production timetables, planned campaign launches (because getting all of this done took at least 6 months) and the slow build of reach and frequency shown in our media flow charts.
And then came that darn invention of the Internet and the ensuing (and continuously unfolding) chaos created by the digital media revolution (putting a serious crimp in all those nice client dinners). Continue reading