Where Are We, 1999? Or Is It Worse Than That?

Here's a selfie of me heading into the future. Of course, like many there may be confusion as to where the future lies. It may be in the total opposite direction.
You could think of this as a selfie from  companies intent on dashing into the future. It’s how many see themselves. But there’s often confusion as to where the future lies. One thing’s for sure, it’s not in the way we did things yesterday, or in how we operated in our old companies.

How can the future be the future if it repeats the past?

In marketing and advertising we’re often doing the same things, have you noticed?

Old ideas on a digital platform are still old ideas.

They’re a groan no matter what.

After all, when you disrupt YouTube videos with commercials isn’t that a backward step?

Few would wish those spots were a millisecond longer than they are.

They’ve got just enough inventiveness and engagement power to reach the mediocre level.

That’s not just me grousing.

Keep your ears open next time you’re in Starbucks. More than a few people are irked by boring online ads.

Now, how about television?

The North Carolina Senate race has set a record for spending.

$100 Million plus, with more than 20,000 ads in the last two weeks.

Most of it is on TV.

But is everyone watching television these days? Not really.

These spots come on when anyone with a life is doing other things.

Like shopping for lululemon pants, reading directions to build an Ikea coffee table,  waiting for an upgrade at the Verizon store or getting carrots, kale, apples and wheat grass together to juice up a smoothie.

The TV screen isn’t the priority it once was, or haven’t the political campaign planners heard that.

Why haven’t both sides taken this to heart and replicated the President’s social media strategies?

The ones that put him the White House.

How can you spend so much and ignore the way your target audience gets its information?

In any case, election day is tomorrow. But even before the North Carolina polls open there’s already a clear winner.

Media companies swimming in campaign millions.

In my hunt for the future I’m going to have to go back to reading about innovations like a thought-controlled wheel chair.

It’s being developed by a 27-year-old engineer called Jordan Son Nguyen.

Or maybe next time I rent a car I’ll get one that parks itself. Then head in to a clinic to be fitted with a microchip in my hand.

That way, with something called a ‘RFID transponder’, I can do away with credit cards, a passport and the need to recount my medical history if I’m brought into an ER Room unconscious.

More on the subject of exciting new things, I’ll be looking forward to February 2015 for the new Vince Gilligan series, Better Call Saul. On my iPad, of course.

For those who love a good story and an involving narrative, that clearly defines the future.

Share with us. How do we go beyond contenting ourselves with ‘likes’ and ‘click through’ rates? How do we start using digital in ways that aren’t ‘last year’ or ‘last century’? Thanks for reading. Regards, Steve Ulin



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