Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Advertising is the contracting market

I've argued for a while that new opportunities for Print are not in the world of advertising in the service of selling stuff. The conventional wisdom is that the crux of the problem is the internet and multi-media. Another take is that advertising to buy stuff is no longer sustainable. When things aren't sustainable, sooner or later they change or disappear.

The following is from a post at Harvard Business Publishing.
How Marketing The American Dream Caused Our Economic Crisis
But underpinning the collapse of the housing bubble is a demand-side problem - the American Dream - that has been hijacked in countless political speeches from an embodiment of America's core values into a crass appeal to materialism and easy gratification. . . .

Right wing politicians touting the American Dream consistently advocate lower taxes.. . .
Left wing politicians are equally guilty of framing the American Dream in material terms. . .
Politicians on both sides have been equally culpable in defining the American Dream in material terms, in encouraging Americans to live beyond their means in its pursuit, and then putting in place policies that enable them to do so. Hardly any politician has had the courage to call for restraint.

Americans need a refresher course on the American dream. The Constitution speaks of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not an automatic chicken in every pot. The American Dream embraced by immigrants over the past two centuries has been the opportunity to set one's own goals and pursue them honestly to the limits of one's ambition and ability. Too many Americans have been expressing the Dream through the acquisition of stuff. Others see the Dream as raising a family in a land that delivers Franklin Roosevelt's (and Norman Rockwell's) four freedoms. Still others dream of their children accessing the highest possible level of education, living healthy lives, being good citizens in their communities.
So... if Obama wins and he does what says, it makes sense to believe that there will be new opportunities in education, health and government. Actors in those spaces have to speak to everyone. When you have to speak to everyone, Print is not a "nice to have," it is a "must have."

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