Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just Because All Marketers Are Liars, That Doesn’t Mean They Always Lie

“To no one's surprise,” writes Michael Bush for AdAge , “the first topic of discussion at Advertising Week's CNBC CEO Summit was the meltdown of the financial markets last week.”

The panel of advertising agency CEOs, Andrew Robertson (BBDO), Nick Brien (Mediabrands), Sarah Fay (Aegis Media North America) and Irwin Gotlieb (GroupM) covered a lot of ground but never got far from the debris of the investment banks’ collapse the week of 15 September 2008.

BBDO’s Mr. Robertson sees what he believes is a fundamental shift in how consumers process information from marketers and their clients:

We have to stop thinking of media as bridges that we march messages over into people's minds and start thinking about creating experiences that change behavior and providing access to those experiences in the most relevant places...That's a different language and different way of thinking from the way the business was approached even three years ago.

"We used to think about messages that created a case for a particular behavior," Mr. Robertson said.

"It's not about that now. It's about creating experiences that, by participating in them, change consumer behavior. I'm only interested in behavior. Everything else is just a proxy for it. Unless behavior changes, it's all been a waste of time and money. That's an important lens through which to look at everything, because there's a lot of interesting stuff going on, none of which is going to change behavior. And our clients can't make any money unless behavior changes.

No news here beyond declaring the shift practitioners like Seth Godin have trumpeted for years on end. When BBDO gets it, is it real? [read the rest]

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bob DeMoss and Mark Whitlock are Crackers (in Jesus' name)

I think Bob DeMoss and Mark Whitlock are the sort of people Mahatma Gandhi was talking about when he said:
When I began as a prayerful student to study Christian literature in South Africa in 1893, I asked myself again and again, 'Is this Christianity?' And I could only say, 'No, no. Certainly this that I see is not Christianity.' And the deepest in me tells me that I was right; for it was unworthy of Jesus and untrue to the Sermon on the Mount. — in C. F. Andrews, Mahatma Gandhi's Ideas: Including Selections from His Writings, (London, The Macmillan Company, 1930) page 95

Mr. DeMoss and Mr. Whitlock are selling Obama Waffles mix this weekend (pictured above in Evan Vucci's AP photo at the Value Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. co-sponsored by American Values and Focus on the Family Action). The two worked together at Focus on the Family back the day.

Mr. Whitlock's blog bio begins:
We live in a parable culture. Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "Better songs would they have to sing, for me to believe in their Saviour." Our culture screams, "Tell me a better story and then I’ll believe in Jesus.”

Gentlemen, seriously: Is Obama Waffles the better song you sing to draw people to your Saviour? Or is that a different compartment?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Six Frames | Signal-to-Noise

So maybe we can’t really — it seems impossible that I’m about to write this — maybe we can’t just take everything we read at face value…

I mean, who sends you those crazy internet gossip emails? I’ll tell who thinks of me when they read something no reasonable person would take seriously: It’s Christian friends who forget everything they ever learned and hit send when common sense, had they any left, would tell them to sit on their hands and think for just a second about what they’re doing.

Next thing you know, I’m looking at something I’m supposed to believe even though it was forwarded by five people I don’t know from a hole in the ground (plus Kevin Bacon, whose name I feel sure is buried in at least one of those reply all lists since he is known for being not more than six degrees from every clerk, convict, investment banker and small business owner on the planet).


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

worse than useless data | insidework

Mark Twain gave Benjamin Disraeli credit for the line: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Having posted recently on useless data, my thoughts are drawn to something worse — data that’s misappropriated, or even ginned up to make a point.

A friend asked me to read a draft document that included something he’d heard: “Studies estimate that nearly 90% of teens leave the church after graduating high school.” About the same time, another friend invoked another frequently repeated line: “Over the past few years, various research studies have found more than 75% of Christians leave their faith after high school and more than 60% after college.”


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Executive Experience = Red Herring

George W. Bush had executive experience in a large state. How did that work out for us? If executive experience were the key, he would have faithfully executed the office of President of the United States.

I'm looking (and in Senators Obama and Biden have found) visionary leadership fueled by a clear commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law.