How important is knowing the history of advertising, or business in general? We’re so focused on the here and now, many people simply don’t care.
The history of advertising, pop culture, and business in general is quite vast. I’ve always believed more knowledge is always better, no matter what the subject. And it’s amazing how a few years of experience in advertising, coupled with a good memory, can hone your inner BS detector.
Some people just entering the business world and the ad industry may not have a full recollection of the 1999-2000 dot-com buildup and meltdown. You can see it with new technology being hyped. When Facebook announced last year it was accepting advertising, its CEO heralded it as a revolution stating, “once every hundred years, media changes.” I wasn’t around in 1907, but I’m old enough to realize he was full of shit.
Perhaps that’s why so few marketing concepts captivate me. I’ve seen them before, albeit probably in a more primitive iteration. And if you’re a student of history, as I sometimes am, I’ve begun to realize that even the most unique ideas today’s agencies produce are built on foundations erected by previous ad people.
It’s the focus of my new column on Talent Zoo.