Thanks to Seth Godin for the inspiration.
So you're in the ad business as an advertiser. Or perhaps, as an award-winning creative director or artist or copywriter. Or as a stellar media planner in the media planning department. Or perhaps, you're in the content business - and sells adspace for a living.
Here's what you should be doing now: Quit.
Now. Quit now.
Quit being an advertiser. Quit writing ads. Quit planning how ads will be seen and how efficiently they are going to be exposed. Quit selling "ad" spaces and inventory. Quit managing your brands and your communications. Quit mulling over details over your ad - on how big or how small the logo is. Quit thinking about whether this copy is witty enough or not. Quit thinking about how to make sale - and how to make advertisers buy your inventory.
Your audiences have changed. They now hold the ball. They now know the games you - we - have been playing. They've realized they've got the power. To diss us, to diss brands, to turn our media off, to make choices. They have realized that they don't want to be spoonfed everything - from information to entertainment. They have started to wield their power over the things that we create, that we do.
The truth is - they've always held the power. They've always been "at source". Technology has allowed them to realize their power - and they're using it now.
And we thought that we never thought this day would come. But it has.
So we now have to quit.
We have to quit 'advertising'. Let's stop talking about the wonderful things about our product - let's let the people who use it talk about it to others - in their own way - in their own time. Let's let them talk to us. And for once, let's listen.
Witty ads? Unless it makes people love the brand even more - and unless it makes people think about us more, quit it. Award-winning ads? Unless it wins people's hearts and minds and pockets, quit it. Bigger or smaller logo? Unless it gets people diving into their pocketbooks - and talking about us in a nice way, quit it. Cost-efficient media plans with optimized GRPs and impresions? Unless the plan responds to the audiences - and resonates deeply with them, then stop.