Confectious Concoctions

Age of the Innocents

Posted on: April 27, 2010

The other day I had a brief but thought-provoking conversation with an industry colleague about how easily his very young son remembered a single marketing message about which store only carried the How To Train Your Dragon toys. Kids’ media consumption is SO simple (not as simple as it used to be, but that’s not the point), which is partially due to parents’ control, regulations on advertising to children, etc. And a lot to do with brain function, of course.

But it got me thinking non-the-less of how much simpler life used to be just a few short years ago. As marketers, we didn’t have to worry about how fractured the media industry was; TV, radio, print and a teensy bit of online was just about it. Now we’re fighting DVRs, satellite radio, the slow death of some newspapers and magazines, and working to get “followers” and “fans” (or whatever the current Facebook jargon is). Whodathunk?

As consumers, I think we’re more passive and not paying as close attention to the changes that are happening, even though we’re right in the throes of it alongside the marketers. How are you taking it? I get a little overwhelmed at times and my brain needs to shut down a little bit and think of the days of yore when cell phones, Twitter, apps, YouTube and blogs didn’t exist. Just for a little bit. A little media recess if you will. Sometimes I wonder if “real” people ever feel like brands are intruding in the spaces we really don’t want them to, that they’re just throwing their messages out and hoping we bite, or at least notice them and maybe click through to their website and hang out for a couple minutes.Yes, I know there’s probably research out there that tracks consumer sentiment in the social sphere (which is really what I’m focusing on here I guess). But I’m just surmising here, so bear with me.

I’m on the fence. I think social media can provide a unique and engaging method to reach potential customers, and brands have been doing some really cool stuff with online videos, microsites, games, etc. But how welcome is it?

Will we ever reach a point in time when technology explodes and we find ourselves back to using good ol’ radio, TV and print to reach our audience? Well, probably not, considering the basic meaning of technology, but I’ve always thought simpler might not be so bad, as a consumer anyway. So I’m going to shut down my laptop and switch off the TV (I’d turn my phone off, too, but I use it as an alarm clock), and get a few pages of my current book put to bed.

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