“Only when television managed to emancipate itself from the economic construct of advertising was there a real emancipation of story.”
So said David Simon, creator of the greatest piece of art that has ever aired on television, The Wire – speaking at the Edinburgh TV festival last month (about in an interview with Charlie Brooker.
Similarly, brands – companies, organisations, whatever – need to free themselves from advertising as the core of how they communicate, how they practise marketing.
So do agencies (in fact many of them are already).
Advertising, to most people, *is* marketing. Since the 1950s at least, the TV ad has been the hub, the centrepiece of how marketing gets done. It’s where the money is, where a lot of talent goes.
Anyway, I was thinking about this last week prepping for a presentation at NMALive called “Influencing the Influencers”.
The title set me of on three trains of thought:
- 1. How advertising as an “economic construct” distorts marketing and therefore business more widely.
- 2. We need for models of communication that target both traditional influencers (media, celebrities, experts) and “accidental influencers“.
- 3. Networks are inherently unpredictable (because they complex adaptive systems) – we need to avoid illusions of being able to predict and control behaviours and focus on “How to be lucky” as brands.
Here’s the presentation…
Back to advertising vs. marketing. Advertising, TV advertising, distorts marketing in the digital age in lots of ways. The business models and the economic imperative still pulls in disproportionate amounts of budget, talent and attention from brand owners and marketers generally.
Just as The Wire was the result of TV being set free as a medium from advertising-only business models, organisations will benefit from being set free from the distorting influence of the advertising only model.