One of the untold stories of the new age of marketing is the way it has lead us back to an old way of thinking .
Advertising was once thought to be magic. We had silly books like "The Hidden Persuaders" and dumb-ass movies like "The Hucksters" which propagated the nonsense that people were compliant sheep who were easily mesmerized by us diabolical ad hacks.
As time went on, a more realistic account of the power of advertising arose. People weren't all docile idiots; they didn't piss their money away on any piece of crap the marketing industry threw at them; advertising needed to have some thinking behind it to be effective.
The ad industry grew up, the marketing industry grew up, our creative people grew up, and our clients grew up. We came to understand that advertising's power was limited and contingent. We came to understand that a lot of advertising was wasteful and inefficient. We learned that television was not a miracle and advertising was not magic.
But now the magic is back.
This time, of course, the magicians have new rabbits and new hats. But it's all still illusions.
This time around consumers want to have conversations with us and "co-create." All we have to do is give them "compelling content" and get all social with them.
The new illusions are just as absurd as the old.
It's time, once again, for everyone to grow up.