Today’s consumer is unrecognisable from even just twenty years ago. More savvy, more sceptical, wealthier, better informed, less deferential and generally more in control. The advertising industry, however, is still largely using tactics that were created in the 1950’s, like the 30 second ad slot. The result is that consumers find advertising irrelevant, or even irritating, and are increasingly using technology like PVRs to filter it out of their lives.
That’s not to say that people aren’t interested in brands and products. And companies are obviously just as keen to find new customers. People just find the old-school techniques out-of-synch with their lifestyles and advertisers want to excite people about their brands, not annoy them.
All quite a conundrum for the marketing industry, a global business worth $370bn in 2004. Clearly, marketing isn’t going to disappear. It existed before the TV schedule and will continue as long as markets exist. The question is where the industry can turn to next to reignite its passion and inspiration?
The answer lies in a phenomenon which demonstrates all the energy, innovation and excitement that TV brought to people in the 1950s: the Open Source Movement (OSM).