Global warming is upon us, whether anyone admits it or not. Are you scared? No. No one really is. Seth Godin, who is much smarter than I am, dissects the issue from a marketing standpoint…and I think that he has some great points. Here they are:
We are facing what might be the greatest threat ever to the future of mankind.
And yet no one is marching in the streets, the outrage is largely intellectual and action is slow. (If you want to argue about the science, please visit the link above, this is a post about the marketing!)
Is the lack of outrage because of the population's decision that this is bad science or perhaps a thoughtful reading of the existing data?
Actually, the vast majority of the population hasn't even thought about the issue. The muted reaction to our impending disaster comes down to two things:
1. the name.
Global is good. Warm is good. Even greenhouses are good places.
How can "global warming" be bad?
I'm not being facetious. If the problem were called "Atmosphere cancer" or "Pollution death" the entire conversation would be framed in a different way.
2. the pace and the images.
One degree every few years doesn't make good TV. Because activists have been unable to tell their story with vivid images about immediate actions, it's just human nature to avoid the issue. Why give up something we enjoy now to make an infintesimal change in something that is going to happen far in the future?
Folksonomy. I came across this idea while I was researching Flickr for a project. It combines the words folk (no kidding) with taxonomy. According to Wikipedia, folksonomy
"refers to the collaborative but unsophisticated way in which information is being categorized on the web. Instead of using a centralized form of classification, users are encouraged to assign freely chosen keywords (called tags) to pieces of information or data, a process known as tagging. Examples of web services that use tagging include those designed to allow users to publish and share photographs, personal libraries, bookmarks, social software generally, and most blog software, which permits authors to assign tags to each entry."
That's interesting, because for the first time in history, the great masses are in charge of cataloging and definining things. No longer are experts needed to publish great hulking bodies of work to define the human experience for the rest of us. That's pretty exciting.
Lately I've been thinking about how YouTube.com has blown up. It has video's on just about every blog that I have been reading. They are everywhere. I stopped by their site today to find a link to that iPod designed by Microsoft video that is on Gareth Kay's blog, and I immediately saw how they've done it. They provide you with code that you can plug into your blog that creates a player that holds the video.
They've made their website viral by helping bloggers use their content. Smart.
Almost every speaker we've had at Adcenter has expressed that advertising is dead. Art Directors and Copywriters are freaked out that someone is going to edge in on their near godlike "creative" designation. Planners are freaked out about any number of things, they spend more time wondering about their demise than anything else. Media people are all freaking out that not as many people watch TV anymore, and that they want to be more involved in the creative idea process rather than being tacked on at the end. It's all just crazy. Everyone wants everyone else's job and everyone else is freaked out about someone coming to take their jobs away from them. I think that we all just need to relax. In the end, if you have a brain, this industry needs you. What it doesn't need is people obsessed with titles and job functions and taking credit for things. What we don't need is ultra defensive and sensitive people trying desperately to keep everyone else from edging in on their job function. Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, advertising is a team sport. Advertising agencies at their best are just large buildings full of creative idea people. The best ideas are going to come from everyone working together, not from some archaic chain of responsibility, handing work off linearly like some assembly line where you never see anyone else. The industry is going to be just fine, but I think those agencies that realize that we are all on the same team, no matter what our job title is, are going to be the agencies of the future.