June 26, 2009

Disintermediating The Extraterrestrials

Apparently, there aren't enough annoying opinions about advertising. Now we have politicians weighing in.

Big Al Gore took some time off from saving the universe a few weeks ago to help us save the ad industry.

Al explained that the future of advertising is -- take a deep breath -- VCAMs: Viewer Created Ad Messages.

Al, who is co-founder of Current TV (a cable network that relies heavily on viewer created content, and has about 12 viewers) was speaking at one of those digital media conferences they have every week.

Someone needs to explain to Al that the whole "user generated content" thing was the advertising flavor-of-the-month a few years ago and we've moved way beyond that to "the conversation" or "widgets" or "Facebook apps" or "Twitter" or "the cloud" or something.

If you want to stay relevant in the advertising world these days you've got to keep your cliches up-to-date.

And speaking of out-of-date, Al also explained that...
“The Internet…is dis-intermediating long established functions."
Now, this whole "disintermediation" thing is at least 10 years past its sell-by date, but it's making a nice comeback.

For those too young to remember, disintermediation (it's a fancy word for 'eliminating the middle man') was how the internet was going to drive all retailers out of business. It was a major factor in the dotcom bubble/bust. You see, we were going to buy all our dog food and batteries on line, direct from the manufacturer. You can read more about it here.

To be honest, we can forgive Al for not being au courant in his ad babble. It's not really his line of work.

The thing that was a little scary, however, occurred when Al was trying to make a semi-coherent point about sustainability, and how the environment and advertising were somehow connected.

Some genius asked him if he believed..."that the extraterrestrial technology that...has been discovered at the China lake facility in California can indeed significantly reduce levels of CO2...”

According to this report, Gore was somewhat flummoxed by this question. After the man explained to him that “extraterrestrial” meant "UFOs", Al responded, “I personally do not.”


Your Ad Contrarian...
...a cheap-shot artist who's not afraid to take on the Big Guys (unless they're clients.)

The Cannes Advertising Festival of Grotesque Overindulgence...

...is over. Someone please remind me to give a shit.

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