In the recent special double issue of Newsweek magazine (3/26/12 and 4/2/12) celebrating Mad Men and the 1960s golden age of advertising, Nick Summers analyzes the tremendous changes in advertising due to social media (“Click This Ad Already!” pp. 58–64).

Summers addresses a powerful implication of social media’s explosive and expanding influence on the advertising world.  He explains, “To longtime ad strategists, this is scary.  But the scariest things, once harnessed, can also become the most powerful—particularly when the medium is digital” (p. 61).

No one can deny it: Advertising has changed forever.  We can bemoan the loss of days gone by, we can get nostalgic, and we can try to live in the past before PCs were everywhere.  But being an ostrich with its head in the sand doesn’t change what is still on top of the sand.

Smart businesses today will make every effort to remain relevant in our modern world.  Remaining relevant means you keep up with the times, the trends, and the technology.  It means you don’t just let the future happen to you; you contribute to what that future is.  And never before have businesses and people in general had as much opportunity as they do now to contribute to what that future is.

This is truly an exciting time to be in business.  It is definitely an exciting time to be in advertising.  Where this will take us, nobody knows.  But one way or another, we will all be involved.

So remember: Don’t hide from it—Harness it!

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About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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