Thursday, March 25, 2004

1. Granted, ad agencies home in on differences and attempt to extend them, and it is (wouldn’t we agree?) a more-or-less repugnant practice, but how much are the agencies’ practices the root problem vs. a symptom of larger issue(s)? Marketers are adapting to demands by manufacturers (who perhaps are more fundamental to the decision-making process?) and the fragmentation of audio-visual media. Marketers, like most enormous industries, don’t like it when the ground moves beneath them, and they are adapting because they’ll go out of business otherwise. Can we imagine all advertisers resisting the demands of their customers? Given unregulated markets and free speech, what would it take for fragmentation not to occur?

2. Is it fair to say this book describes a breakdown (‘breakdown’ is a synonym for ‘break up’ -- strange) of the American mainstream? That seems weird to me because, on the one hand, like many I love to criticize and complain about the mainstream media. Then I read this book telling me the mainstream’s breaking up, and now I am worrying about it.

3. How much have market forces shaped the web pages you visit? How do web sites make money, especially when it doesn’t involve credit cards? What advertising has been most effective on the web? Is real online marketing not pop-ups and banners but getting us into these large corporate web sites in which whatever we may read is a covert ad? I seem to recall that a major factor in the bursting of the dot-com bubble was that companies were having trouble making money on advertisements.

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