Integrated Marketing and The Endless Echoes of Mad Men

In case you hadn’t noticed, ‘integrated marketing’ has come full circle. Back in the day, when Mad Men roamed Madison Avenue and TV advertising was the new kid on the block, everyone wanted a slice of the marketing action. In late-1950s Britain, television sets in everyone’s living room marked the end of post-war austerity and, with it, the beginnings of an affluent consumerist society that continued throughout the 1960s and on into the present day. TV advertising was a powerful tool of mass communication that eclipsed print media, direct marketing and PR almost overnight, particularly among those with bigger budgets. It’s often said that history repeats itself. That would certainly seem to be the case with integrated marketing. To get a handle on the historical perspective of it all, you need to compare the Mad Men era and the arrival of TV advertising with the emergence in our own era of Internet marketing and Google. Both of these phenomena transformed marketing as it was known hitherto – and both ended with an aftermath of integrated marketing that sought to make sense of a new and dominant marketing force. The underlying driver on both occasions was the realisation that we shouldn’t risk throwing the baby out with the bath water.   In The 1960s… TV advertising in the 50s and 60s was a potent and entertaining medium with the power to engage and persuade like nothing that had gone before. Or was it? Apart from being incredibly expensive, TV advertising in 1960s Britain had a limited platform of only one commercial TV station. Even if your company could afford it,... Read more...

Old Copywriting Techniques Are Back From The Dead

Just when you thought copywriting had adopted a new persona, it’s become very clear that the old techniques are making a comeback.  Or is it the case that they never really went away? Consider if you will: ‘the creative concept’; quality content; and the ‘direct response’ copywriting approach now being advocated for standard web pages and landing pages. These are all techniques that add more power to a message.  In the challenging economic times of the moment, this is all part of getting ‘more bangs for your buck’.  Everything mentioned above was central to the creative copywriting work of 30 years ago when everything to do with marketing was offline. As the conventional wisdom of online copywriting became set in stone, the message was that people read differently on the web.  They would therefore have no truck with being ‘sold to’, partly because reading from a screen is supposedly a more ‘intimate’ experience.  That now seems faintly ridiculous because most things that we read – in books, newspapers or whatever – are always one-to-one writer-to-reader transactions! This precious attitude was consolidated with the emergence of social media, where ‘people power’ was vested in their independent capacity to destroy brands and reputations. Although there is some truth in the notion that the balance of power has shifted in favour of the consumer, marketers are still faced with the challenge of how best to persuade customers to buy their products and services.   Mass market advertising may not have the same level of influence as it once did, but even niche media – online and offline – have a major job to... Read more...