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A Blog Post

Marketing is Dead, Long Live Marketing

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about meta-advertising — advertising that is self-referential, often ironic, and bordering on absurdity. This “meta movement” is a growing trend in other art forms — especially humor writing — so it only makes sense that we’re seeing its migration into the artistic visions of creative firms.

The latest piece that caught my eye is an online spot created by Dissolve, a stock video supplier. The video is set to creative commons music and features a poem written by Kendra Eash.

This Is a Generic Brand Video from Dissolve on Vimeo.

I’m fascinated by the juxtaposition between Eash’s cynical attitude toward advertising and Dissolve’s use of inspirational, multicultural stock video. It’s delightfully ironic that Dissolve, a stock video supplier, has leveraged this cynicism to create an advertisement for their very own stock footage. Surely the ad’s audience — advertising professionals, mostly — is in on the joke, and yet the self-deprecation is fully and unabashedly co-opted.

The other thing that strikes me about this video and poem is that it exposes what I consider the worst kind of advertising. I recently spoke at the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s annual conference, where I discussed the need to create and maintain meaningful relationships with customers. The attitude projected in Dissolve’s video precisely describes the cynicism and lack of trust that many consumers have towards advertising — and advertisers — and illustrates the reason why genuine communication is so vital in the modern marketing environment.

People don’t want to be advertised to. They want to interact in almost friendly terms with the brands that are a part of their everyday lives. They want to be entertained. Companies such as Old Spice, GoldieBlox, and Dollar Shave Club that insist on having honest conversations with their customers are the ones that are going to survive and thrive. And while there are still plenty of “generic brand videos” out there, their days are numbered.

Let’s embrace the future of marketing before lists of empty buzzwords and ratios of ethnic faces plunge our industry into oblivion.



Chris Bodmann is the president and COO of SenaReider in San Antonio. 

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