Chaos Scenario 2.0 – Bob Garfield Drops Another Classic Article For Advertising Age

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I was a huge fan of Bob Garfield‘s article, Inside The New World Of Listenomics, which I blogged about here: Marketing Article Of The Year – Inside The New World Of Listenomics By Bob Garfield. I was wearing a smile all day after reading his latest article, Chaos Scenario 2.0 – The Post Advertising Age.
Here’s a snippet:
“How long it will be before order is restored is anybody’s guess. What is certain is that the Brave New World, when it emerges, will be far better for marketers than the old one. What is nearly as certain is that many existing ad agencies and some media agencies will be left behind. And the reason they will be left behind is their stubborn notion that they can somehow smoothly transition to a digital landscape.
‘It’s a very different kind of world,’ says Adam Thierer, senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation and author of ‘Media Myths: Making Sense of the Debate Over Media Ownership.’ ‘The problem is, the expectations are there to capture that mass audience that long ago disappeared. We are witnessing the gradual death of the business models that thrived in that age of scarcity.’
The value of TV, like the value of anything, is built upon the economics of scarcity. For decades, the source of highly produced entertainment was limited to three or four distributors — i.e., the major networks. Cable expanded the options tenfold, then, with digital cable, 100-fold. Now the internet promises to do so infinitely. Strictly speaking, as a distributor of goods, broadcast’s revenue structure should have collapsed long ago.”
Once again, Garfield lights many paths of opportunity for marketers. Too many marketers will read Chaos Scenario 2.0 as if it’s a disaster movie script for the advertising and marketing community. If anything, there’s nothing in Garfield’s scenario all that chaotic at all… unless you’re not deeply focused on what’s happening in the digital space with social media and trust economies.
You owe it to yourself (and to everyone you work with) to check out the article and forward it around: Advertising Age – Chaos Scenario 2.0 – The Post Advertising Age By Bob Garfield.


  1. Wow.
    I’ve been in “traditional” advertising for 20 years but I haven’t felt this excited in ages. I can see the boredom coming to an end and the just beginning once again.
    Thanks for all the great ideas.

  2. Here’s another set of facts. Viacom is the owner of MTV, Comedy Central, DreamWorks entertainment and a whole host of other media outlets coveted by 20-something’s. Viacom is claiming that YouTube, the popular site owned by Google, is not doing enough to remove copyrighted content like whole episodes of South Park or The Daily Show. Google/YouTube says it’s doing enough citing that since it removes clips on demand, it’s protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. It seems to me that the real battle here is not about revenue but TURF and until such time that these media giants put away their light sabres I’m not ready to concede that the new world will be much better than the old world for marketers. Like The Who said “meet the new boss, just like the old boss, we won’t get fooled again.” Or will we?

  3. Stephen,
    I’m a huge The Who fan… so that comment made me smile. But I think we might not be in the “meet the new boss – same as the old boss” scenario.
    These new companies are looking for ways to monetize content beyond advertising. One of the pillars of my presentation is “content as media.”
    I know we’re not quite there yet, but it is coming… fingers crossed.

  4. A new presentation? I missed it? Monetizing is the hot topic. It came up at PodCamp and I agree with you it’s an important issue for the Content providers. But can the web afford to have more of an advertising persona. If users have a genuine passion and the web represents the space where like-minded users can raise their hands (which is what marketers want them to do) then why can’t content providers and their advertisers take the good with the bad. I thought these were the questions Web 2.0 marketers had to learn to deal with. Isn’t it all part of the experiment that Jaffe encourages marketers to embrace. Or am I off track.

  5. I don’t think you’re off track. I just wonder if the traditional advertising agencies are really knee-deep in this experiment? I spend a lot of my days looking at what it takes to be a successful Marketer in this social media age, and the only output that’s making sense is the art of creating valuable content versus simply dropping ads into social networking sites or new media communication channels.
    We’re all struggling to grasp what the marketing win will be. If we look back on the maturation of the Web, I doubt anybody thought that Google AdWords (a couple of text lines) was going to be the big win in a sea of rich media, broadband and interactivity.
    It’s all unfolding before our eyes and the more insights we can get (like Garfield’s)… the better.

  6. I came out of the CMA Digital Marketing Conference this past fall realizing that the world I had come to know and understand for the last twenty-five years had suddenly been turned upside down. It was my Poseidon moment. So like the character Harry Art Carney played in Paul Mazursky’s movie “Harry and Tonto” I stuck my thumb out to see where the road would take me. The journey has left me dispirited and desultory at times but recently I am beginning to realize that each new day can be a beginning rather than an end as the road continues to unfold before me.
    I should have the Eisenberg Brothers “Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?” wrapped up by the weekend. Any suggestions for my next book?

  7. Lots of great books to read Stephen.
    Start off with The Cluetrain Manifesto then hop over to Purple Cow and finish it all up with Life After The 30-Second Spot.
    Let me know how the journey goes ๐Ÿ™‚

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