Confronting the mayhem in Media and Marketing


Some of you may have seen this commercial during this past week’s Grammy Music Award Show. It’s from Chipotle whose message is that sometimes it is better to go back to the start. Perhaps we had things right in the beginning before disruption, corruption, money, or other detractors got in our way.

Chipotle, itself, is a perfect example of getting back to basics by rethinking long held industry assumptions. In the mass production of the fast food industry, the company provides quality food made from products that are ethically sourced. The company has been rewarded with phenomenal growth over a time period that saw some competitors struggling.

Maybe it’s time you went back to the start and challenged your assumptions?

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Disruptions Old and New

Pride and Prejudice, whether in movie or book form, epitomizes my definition of absolute boredom. To much surprise, I spent the past week watching more hours of Downton Abbey than I care to admit. The show is typically English, described by Netflix as “cerebral” and “understated.” It follows a not-so-merry band of royals, the Crawleys, and their sometimes mocking staff during the 1910′s. The program cunningly shows the many cultural changes that occurred during this point in history.

Disruptive change is probably more of a constant when not viewed in the narrow scope of today, this year or the last. Take the early 1900′s as an example. The Wright brothers had their first flight in 1903. The lucky few started to have their homes equipped with indoor plumbing and electricity. Even the phone was a new-fangled breakthrough for communication. In one episode the butler, Carson, struggles to figure out which end to speak into. In addition to the start of World War I, women’s rights were gaining traction.

Today, just as then, the pace of change is head spinning. Just as one has mastered the latest bright, shiny object or cultural change another comes along. Perhaps the only truism is that change is constant and change will happen with or without you. The only choice is in how you react. The only solace is that you are not the first nor the last to see it.

photo: TimothyJ

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Talent Migrations

Certain species follow tremendous migratory patterns. The Bar-tailed Gotwits have the longest known migration of any species clocking in around 6,300 non-stop miles. Perhaps the word migration conjures the images from National Geographic featuring the endless swarm of the wildebeest across the African plains. No matter the species, animals migrate as a survival response mechanism similar to fight or flight. Birds seek better weather and food sources. Wildebeest seek greener pastures.

People also seek greener pastures. A friend mentioned the other day how there have been talent migrations within the graphic arts industry. Talent first moved from the print providers to the vendors. Now talent is moving from the vendors to other pastures, some within graphic arts but many outside. Not only are current graphics professionals moving onto other careers, but the industry’s ideal candidate has also changed. Graphic arts now competes with many other technology centric industries. Whether it is Google, Apple, or the startup in the garage down the street, on perception alone it is not easy to compete and it will not get any easier.

Migrations usually involve leaving one place only to return to it later when conditions are once again favorable. Unless the industry starts getting creative with keeping and attracting talent, this migration may be a one way street.

photo: DEMOSH

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