Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Goodbye Madison Avenue - Is Advertising Dead

I know an actual Princess. Her name is Princess Clark-Wendel. I’ve known her more than 10 years. I’ve watched her go through her MBA education and blossom into one of the most brilliant business minds in the nation. She’s been involved with Stedman Graham’s organization (you know him as Oprah’s guy).


We have been discussing a book she is working on about how work is transitioning to home offices. One of my ideas is how I use my computer on the run and a cell phone as the office of today. Yet Princess expands it with Web cams and other high tech devices to make a home office more competitive than expensive office leases. Much more sophisticated than anything available 20 years ago.


It seems like an eon ago (because I’ve lost many gigs recommending companies have a YouTube and MySpace presence), but it was actually only two years ago when I saw the future of advertising on YouTube and what convinced me these were the media of the future – long before – and I will venture after – Twitter.


Today I get all my TV, most of my management information (see “Free Education via YouTube”) on YouTube and music, news and radio stations from Philadelphia to San Diego from the Internet.


One reason is no advertising.


This brings me back to the future of advertising – a media I witnessed two years ago when I stumbled across “Hammer & Coop” on YouTube. Ever have an epiphany? This was mine.




Hope this is accurate. What I could find out it appears to have been developed by Butler, Shine, Stern and Millions of Us. Both Sausalito, California companies.


When the "ads" were launched, they were spaced a week or two apart so you had to follow the series like you would a comic strip. A great tactic for building an audience.


The future of advertising will be agencies operating out of Starbucks or kitchen table, as Princess will enlighten us when her book is published. Individuals or cadres seeing the future and kicking Madison Avenue’s ass.


From what I’ve seen of advertising agencies, they appear bloated – much like government – and will shortly have their day of reckoning, as the government, Detroit and banks are now.


Also, I’ve pontificated on this repeatedly. I’ve seen advertising agencies as the bastion of hiring “fresh” talent rather than the tried and true communicators like the 5,000 journalists that lost their jobs in the past year.


The reason we’re in this depression is the idiotic way companies hire and choose agencies, suppliers. It’s like putting your car in the hands of a guy who was literally testing batteries and patching tires yesterday. Or the surgeon who just got his Bachelor’s.

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