Why Are You Marketing Like It’s 1988?

In the Golden Age of Advertising (and in its aftermath) brands had it made. All a good brand had to do was buy ad space, push their product or service, add a catchy slogan or jingle, and watch the cash roll in from a generation of loyal consumers.

In fact, to this point, let’s play a little game called – Name That Brand! See if you can name these brands by their slogan or jingle. (Answer key below).

  1. “He likes it! Hey, Mikey!”
  2. “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”
  3. “Never leave home without it.”
  4. “Plop, plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is.”
  5. “It’s the quicker picker upper.”
  6. “I’d like to teach the world to sing.”
  7. “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”
  8. “Where’s the beef?”
  9. “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
  10. “The San Francisco Treat”



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If you were born before 1990, you aced it, right? But look at what happened as you read through those slogans and jingles. You smiled and maybe experienced a little sense of sentimentality.  But why is that?

With humor, fun, nostalgia, drama, fear, or even kitschiness, marketers found ways to capture the attention of the masses with their emotionally engaging ads. That was the beauty of that advertising era.  All brands had to do was find ways to emotionally connect to the masses and their advertising was effective.

But the Golden Age of Advertising has been over for decades.

So why are most brands still marketing as if it’s 1988?

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Today, the majority of consumers ruthlessly mute, skip, fast forward, look the other way, or totally ignore thousands of well-crafted marketing messages in a given day.  Don’t you do the same? I know I do.

The good news is, for the first time in history, brands have an opportunity to not only make an emotional connection with the masses, but to make that connection with individuals. The internet and social media have magically turned advertising monologue a two-way conversation. Brands that are listening to and engaging with their customers via social media platforms and on the internet are leveraging the power of their well-crafted messages for an even greater, ROI. So, exactly what is the ROI of listening & caring? A generation of loyal-ready consumers is waiting to show you.

It’s not enough to have a website & Facebook page that announces your brand’s existence & highlights your products or services. It’s not enough to respond to customer complaints on Twitter with a “Please fill out this form so the right person can see your concern.” The brands that serve most, and with sincerity – win the day.

The new golden age of advertising is here. Will you be a part of it?

Agree? Disagree? Love to hear your thoughts.

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