Oh the irony of thinking back on “Oh Mice and Men,” as we face an economic meltdown… A financial catastrophe being celebrated by the media (and even pessimists who aren’t currently employed in media) as “the worst since the Great Depression.”
You see, Steibeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” placed George Milton and his large but limited friend, Lennie, lived in The Great Depression — which was like “Speed 2” if movies became life.
And just like Lennie (and subsequently Hugo, the Bugs Bunny version of the abominable snowman) liked to stroke and hug bunnies to death, we marketers are no better.
Yeah, but only the fuzzy little animal we’re crushing to death is the limited credibility and attention we have with consumers. Before I portray our cycle of despair, let me credit the inspiration of this post. A colleague (who happens to be going through a merger like me, but he’s on the bottom), sent me this article by AdWeek titled “Social Nets Overtake eMail.” Seems we’re spending more time engaged in such social media sites as Fakebook, YouBube , Twizzler and WillVideoForFood… even more time than on e-mail itself. And twice that of using Listservs and news groups.
My first reaction was “yeah, no shit.” But then I realized that most marketers who know this aren’t e-mailing their less savvy bosses, who are setting marketing strategy and budgets. I dare you to send this post to that technophobe who calls you his “direct report.” For the record, my own boss and his boss are passionate about digital, and I can only partially attribute that to me.
So here’s part of a natural cycle, and we’ll “rinse or repeat” until we figure out how marketing and social media and entertainment can co-exist peacefully. Mass media, push marketing worked for a while. Now not so much. But we’ll keep trying, because we like controlling the message. Eventually consumers tune us out. So we chase them into social media using the same elegance of a 30-second spot.
Now we’re just coupons at a rave. And I haven’t attended a rave yet, but I’m pretty sure nobody’s looking at the coupons on the rave table (assuming it’s not knocked down, as I imagine happens to tables at a rave).
Then again, if my profession has to become a literary figure, what more could I hope for?
- Yeah, I didn’t read it either, but there’s a Wickipedia page now so kids don’t have to buy Cliff Notes the night before he test. And I probably would have long forgotten that I didn’t read this book if it wasn’t for Season 3 of Lost.
- Don’t accidentally try Googling “abdominal snowman” when you mean “abominable.”