The marketing and media landscape has changed.
Getting mainstream consumer attention used to be easy, you could simply pay to get your message out and there be reasonably sure it would reach your audience.
But then things started to shift, the media landscape slowly fragmented. Today there are thousands of TV channels, but they’re dwarfed by the millions of digital platforms and the billions of pieces of content we all post and share with each other.
The Modern Mainstream is now a Creative Race. Everything, from photos of your friend’s new cat, to wellbeing advice from Instagrammers, it’s all there with one tap on your smartphone.
Nowadays, attention for any brand message must be earned, not just bought.
Because, in the UK, if 80% of the brands ( https://www.marketingweek.com/brands-disappear/) we know disappeared we wouldn’t care. They’re struggling to get noticed amongst all those things that are frankly more interesting.
A marketer’s greatest challenge isn’t competitors, it’s indifference.
This wasn’t an abrupt switch. Marketing has always been an interruption. People want to watch the X Factor, or read about the football, not pronouncements about toilet roll or cake (okay, maybe about cake).
For a long time, we accepted these interruptions to get content cheaper, or for free, but now, we’re realising we don’t have to. There are more ways to block, skip or ignore marketing than ever before, and we’re all using them.
The Modern Mainstream is also becoming savvier. We’ve always known that most brand content isn’t a real reflection of the world, it’s carefully edited to make what is being sold appear perfect. Where kids never look bored on holidays, conditioner makes hair silky and smooth, cars are driven on deserted open roads. But nowadays we’ve stopped tolerating the hype and trust marketing less than ever before.
All is not lost though. Great products, services and content still catch on, but how we go about getting them out into the world needs to change. In this era of ad avoidance, just throwing more money at marketing won’t work.
It’s not enough for a message to reach lots of people. It has to be relevant to what they care about in the real world.
Brands that can interact with life rather than interrupt it, that react to what is happening out there rather than spending more and more money to disrupt it, are the ones that can be part of the 20% The Modern Mainstream actually wish existed.
Put simply, the more that can you understand and be part of the world going on around you, the more you can Punch Above Your Weight. That’s what Creative Race exists for.
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