Mind you, I'm not talking about the death of marketing and media. I'm talking about a dramatic rebirth in marketing and media, in approximately the way the end of the last Ice Age yielded exponentially more species, and more advanced species, than had ever prospered on earth. When the TV Age finally succumbs to the Digital Age, we will be living a different world.
For those entrenched in the status quo, this can be a difficult concept to accept. Titans of the Old Model have spent the past five years wallowing in various forms of hubris and denial. You'll see some examples in Chapter 1, but for the moment let me just share the comments of Sir Martin Sorrell, chairman of the WPP Group, the world's largest advertising agency holding company:
"Slowly, the new media will cease to be thought of as new media; they will simply be additional channels of communication. And like all media that were once new media but are now just media, they'll earn a well-deserved place in the media repertoire, perhaps through reverse takeovers — but will almost certainly displace none."
The italics are mine. The absurdity is Sir Martin's. Does he not see that the internet is not just some newfangled medium – like TV displacing radio? No, it is a revolutionary advance, along the lines of fire, agriculture, the wheel, the printing press, gunpowder, electricity, radio, manned flight, antibiotics, atomic energy and, maybe, Altoids. The digital revolution is already having far-ranging effects on every aspect of our lives, from socialization to communication to information to entertainment to democracy, and these Brave New World effects will only be magnified as the Cowardly Old World collapses before our eyes. Not that this will happen.
This is happening. Right now.
"The era of the creepy blue light leaking out of every living room window on the block is now officially at an end," says my pal and occasional colleague Steve Rosenbaum, founder of video-sharing startup Magnify.net and one of the inventors a decade ago of citizen video. "The simple, wonderful, delirious fact is that people like you and me can now make and share content."
Steve refers to blogs. He refers to consumer-generated commercial, such as the Doritos ads that appeared on the Super Bowl. He refers to pop songs self-produced and distributed by garage bands, who suddenly have as much access to audience as Madonna. But mostly he refers to video.