1.14 Honing the method of reach
Hotshop advertising boutiques like Doyle Dane Bernbach in the United States (which Bill Bernbach had co-founded), McCann Eriksen, Collett Dickinson Pearce and others like them, were helping their clients use marketing media to dazzling effect.
They were busily, seamlessly, blending communications creativity with big business, reaching into people’s homes, and priming ‘prime time’ with entertaining content that would keep people captivated by the sales message.
Advertising agencies dreamt up ways to create seductive appeal for products marketed to people they described as their ‘target audiences’. This is a hunting term. And they went about tracking these audiences down with campaign bait designed to illicit emotional responses, by entertaining, amusing, engaging, enthralling and even scaring them.
The ‘latest new thing’ as brought to you by mass media, has been a means of creating consumer envy and ‘hamster wheel aspirations’ for decades. The consumption of products and services that has flourished in the past fifty years has come about as a result of a spiralling focus on buying products in the cause of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.
Going world wide for the first time
In the 1970’s, with this consumerism in its ascendancy across the planet, global markets were becoming an unstoppable force.
Coke ‘taught the world to sing’ in 1971. It was the world’s first truly global piece of sales communication.
Theodore Levitt, a management thinker, came up with the term, ‘globalization’ in the Harvard Business Review in 1983. In doing so, he distilled the essence of this new world perspective.
In the 1980’s, British Airways was proudly announcing it was moving more people across the Atlantic ocean each year than the entire population of Manhattan.
Technological breakthroughs were making the idea of international brand reach ever more possible. And with that, they were opening up territories that crossed international boundaries, ‘consumer nations’, including Disneyland and Nike world. Facebook as a country is now the second largest on the planet.
Between 1970 and 2000 C.E., mass marketing proved fairly conclusively it was capable of creating a significant, and often an immediate impact, on buying behaviours, changing the way people lived, developing new territories for commercial engagement.
In the 1980’s and 1990’s, brand recall research by A.C. Neilsen, one of the leading marketing analytics companies, routinely identified through its research that messages that made the most impression in people’s minds were being recalled as something people thought they must have seen on TV, even if they hadn’t been. Such was the power people attributed to the screen.
So already, before the digital world even began, gadgets were getting a grip, successfully building more reach than maybe people realised.