Take a look at the following video, and then read the rest of this blog post.
OK…now read the rest of the post. Don’t cheat. If you didn’t watch the video, you’re cheating!
So the video is a pretty good one, and provides a good history of the last 60 or 70 years of advertising and marketing. It starts with a world around 1940 that offered limited choices to buyers. Decisions were easy and so was marketing and advertising.
The age of mass everything— mass production, mass media, mass marketing and mass consumption — was an age of push down marketing to buyers. There was clearly an asymmetric relationship between the producers and the consumers. And the asymmetry was heavily weighted in favour of the producers. Producers of goods could use mass media to force their message to the masses. Mass media allowed for fast communication. But, while it scaled well, it wasn’t personal. It was basically unidirectional.
This was the status quo for several decades all around the world: limited media channels dominated by advertising from large corporations with few options for consumers to be heard.
Now we live in an age of immense choice, both for products and brands, but also for media. Social Media is all the rage right now. But people are treating it as if it is something completely new and different. But in many ways, it’s the oldest form of “media” and certainly was around way before the age of “mass everything”. We just have to look a lot further back than the 1940s.