A fantastic TED talk by Morgan Spurlock of "SuperSize Me" about the world of big corporate advertising and its incestuous relationship with the media channels. Morgan's new movie "POM Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" The thought of true transparency is still somewhat of a figment of the imagination in these circles. The point this is trying to bring home, in my view, is that we are now being inundated with corporate shill 24x7. The thing that is changing the fastest, in my view, is the way in which the pitch is getting delivered, as the sponsored message is becoming ever more blended in with the content and delivery channels we consume.
Today it could be a tweet or comment on a late night show from a well known celebrity mentioning how great a coke would be, or even a local mom recommending a product to her network on Facebook. Schools are selling advertsing like it nobody’s business as school buses and hallways now market to our youth. As I work in the "biz" so to speak I have a pretty good sense of what is a pitch as I know that there is no relaity in reality TV. Every thing is planned and well coordinated from late night to the fabricated drama on on Dancing With the Stars.
How long until we see corporate messgaing and sponsorships pervade our professional spots more than what they have already. It's only a matter of time before we see corprate brands on our pro teams uniforms in the US just as they do in Europe. The WNBA has already started selling sponsorships for player’s uniforms, so how much longer before we see the Citibank Mets?
We all talk how great social media is and how wonderful it is to be connected to one another. While there is a lot of good from that always remember that the social media platform companies need to eat, and feed their kids and that the most valuable commodity they have is your data.
Today we see the emergence of location based services that will serve as the foundation, along with trillions of lines of data about all of us, to facilitate the delivery of targeted and custom sponsored messages 24x7. It’s interesting that one of the big future mega trends will be the sheer growth of ‘screens”. Screens and displays will be all around us, pervading every facet of our lives with the purpose of delivering us commercially sponsored messaging (i.e a pitch).
As a smaller marketer I’m not any less guilty. I do conduct custom research with the aim of supporting a position or point of view in the market. I do develop white papers and videos with a pitch that is designed to push a viewpoint that’s favorable to my company and my product. I’m certainly not producing high quality content for humanitarian reasons alone. I do try to keep the pitch to minimum and always try to make the content of high quality, but the end goal is the same in that I’m trying to position a point of view that benefits my interests commercially.
The difference is that it’s pretty apparent when you take content from a corporate website or off a corporate advertisement your going to get some pointed messaging. What's changing is that these commercial messages will be delivered across all channels and packaged within seemingly non commercial messages and this is where we all need to be more aware and do as our parents said:
“Always question who is delivering you the news, and always ask who “they” are”
I worked with Morgan many years back, and during that time we all knew he would be very successful. Congratulations on your new movie and as a marketer I can’t wait to see it. Nuff said.