Monday, May 05, 2008
Well, it happened. The mighty Potters are going to be playing football in the Prem, the top tier of English football (sadly relegating my father's team, Leicester, which is a little sad).
And, all of a sudden, mainstream media became very interested in the last day drama of it all. And who wouldn't, let's be fair, it was a helluva story - despite the endless long throws and scrappy football that turned out to be the reality.
But it got me to thinking. Dangerous, that. When exactly, does a story, or event, cross over and become 'mainstream'? How exactly is 'mainstream' achieved? Why do we regard something as mainstream? (Barring the recent London elections, or tragedies, obviously).
It's interesting. I still tune into the good old BBC as my first choice of news, followed by whatever my RSS reader (tuned into the New York Times, The Indie, Telegraph & The Guardian) says is worthwhile.
And, let's extend this further to, yes, you've guessed it, the great 'where's the industry going?' debate which seems to uniquely conflict the ad industry at the moment. Either Mindshare are taking over the world, or PR companies are, or maybe even management consultancies (when they inevitably bring creative in house).
For a comparative junior in the business, it's not a simple case of boning up on your APG case studies and doing the odd blog post (though I wish it was). To try and define what'll become 'mainstream' in communications has become like trying to pin the tail on the donkey after about 5 whiskeys, blindfolded and after having eaten a very heavy meal.
So who do you trust, and talk to? Those hipper than hip digital agencies? These, who promise metrics and interactive experiences, the likes of which you've never seen before - which can seemingly create measurable worlds, which of course everyone will want to interact with. Or maybe a media agency, with 13 floors of econometrics, management consultancy and extreme targeting. Or maybe, just maybe, the traditional creative shop, with its base of ideas.
The latter option reminds me an awful lot of a religious theory I read when I was a wee nipper (good old AS Level Philosophy), about the God of the Gaps. Essentially, the theory can be distilled down into this - there were areas which Science cannot account for (time before time can be measured, essentially). For those bits, you fill in with God/your chosen Deity. Could creative agencies become like that?
NB: For what it's worth, I think the next split will be between those who properly outsource creativity and those who outsource analytics. 'Creative' agencies will have PR, Experiential and all the rest of that gubbins. T'others will, I think, become like management consultancies. What does everyone else think?
That's enough musing. Now have some music: