If a career can be thought of in three phases, perhaps ages 20-35, 35-50 and 50-65, then I have to admit I’m (just) into the final phase. When I look back, it’s easy to see the mistakes I made by not trusting in the judgement of more experienced people. However, I can also identify times when I could see things that older colleagues just didn’t get (most notably, aged about 35, that the internet was going to be really, really significant). So at this age, I need to be looking at younger people in order to understand what they can see that perhaps I can’t.
One thing that strikes me is my reluctance to accept that advertising isn’t so much about changing people’s perceptions any more. Persuasion through advertising assumed a level of ignorance in the market which was there to be exploited. Having grown up with that, it’s hard to forget. But now the market has the world at its fingertips and therefore needs to be informed, not persuaded – and never try to pull the wool over people’s eyes. You’ll be found out in an instant.
Younger people seem to understand this instinctively. Advertising is still about being noticed, but our message needs to be that these products and services do what you want, and here’s how.
The TL;DR for older folks like me? Fewer flowery marketing adjectives, and more evidence.