Don’t Be Mad—The Golden Age is Now

by Taylor Bennett

I have to agree with David Droga–to a degree–on hismost recent interviewwith Ad Age Editor Abbey Klaassen. In the interview, Droga offered his thoughts on whether the golden age of advertising is still to come, or whether it now lives in the “Mad Men” drama series on A&E. His personal take is that we may be in it now, or at least on the cusp.

If you live under a rock and have no idea what “Mad Men” is, here’s a quick synopsis:

Set in the glamorous 1960s, the executives of New York City’s heavy-weight advertising agencies provide a glimpse of life in the corporate boys’ club as they spend their entire day sucking down alarming amounts of booze and nicotine and spitting back up pure, creative genius.

It’s a far cry from the day to day reality at MESH (we’re caffeine people), but the show is quite addicting and I highly recommend it.

I digress.

Obviously, we have technology and capabilities today that exceeded the wildest dreams of our 1960s counterparts. Certainly theKONY videowouldn’t have taken off in the same way 50 years ago! Although it’s not in the technology advancements, or even in the steep competition to grab an audience’s attention today where I think our generation has a leg up on being considered the “golden age” of advertising.

The reality that demonstrates the true innovation and creativity of today is that we’re no longer asked simply to find buyers of a product—we’re asked to create a lasting relationship between brand and customer. Between Twitter, Facebook, email marketing, direct mail and even more traditional mass media, the desire is the same across the board. Don’t just get me in their living room—get them to invite me there. Get them to follow me, be a fan on Facebook, sign up for my newsletter, forward my video to their friends and family. Don’t just make me rich—make me rich AND popular.

And as today’s industry reps, we actually make it happen! Consumers today are now interacting with brands in a completely new way and bringing new meaning to “brand loyalty.” It’s this ability to redefine companies, brands and products to be part of an individual’s intimate life—not just to drive that bottom line—that I believe solidifies the fact that if we’re not in the golden age now, it’s still to come. Stay tuned.