Plus ça change

Ryan Wallman
November 25, 2015

Timeless advertising

Reading about the various trends in our industry, it’s hard not to feel a little apprehensive.

The marketing media are awash with stories of new business models, new technologies and new competitors.

People disagree on which of these are most important, but few would disagree with the assertion that advertising is changing.

The people creating it (or at least their titles) are changing. The means for delivering it are changing. Even the mechanisms for avoiding it are changing.

So what will the industry look like in 10 years?

Or five years?

Will disruption (ugh, that word) destroy everything we currently know?

It will certainly destroy some things – that much is already apparent. And it will just as certainly destroy others in ways that are not yet apparent.

But to get a sense of just how confused this topic has become, take a look at this, which I saw recently on Twitter. I call it ‘the wheel of buzzwords’.

 

marketing

 

Did you get all that?

In my view, all this complexity and uncertainty is obscuring the basic truth that people respond to what entertains or informs them.

There is no new business model that will disrupt this truth. No technology that will render it obsolete. No megatrend that will sweep it away.

So my policy is to keep it simple. Rather than obsessing about the vagaries of time, harness the power of the timeless.

Fashions change. Human beings don’t.

Or as Bill Bernbach put it:

“It took millions of years for man’s instincts to develop. It will take millions more for them to even vary. A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man, with his obsessive drive to survive, to be admired, to succeed, to love, to care of his own.”

 

By Ryan Wallman, Head of Copy at Wellmark.

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