ARE WE JUST BLOWING SMOKE?

Experiential marketers and “nonners” — to use Erik Hauser’s (of Swivel Media and IXMA fame) term for non-traditional marketers — keep haranguing the bastions of traditional advertising and marketing to embrace innovation, personal voices and consumer empowerment while simultaneously eschewing the mass media quick-fix like product placements and planted buzz.

But today, two items culled from the ether of the Internet has given me the cliched Wednesday blues. A brief piece in USA Today reports that product placement has now seeped into commercials. Not content with imbedding products into TV shows, movies and video games, eye-ball-obsessed “marketers are pushing products into other marketers’ commercials.”Jumpingtheshark

That’s right, folks. The shark has been jumped for product placement.

Then, to add insult to injury, I read this tid-bit on Adverblog, by way of AdPulp:

Proponents of the latest Web trends were warned on Tuesday that the rest of the world may not have a clue what they are talking about. A survey of British taxi drivers, pub landlords and hairdressers — often seen as barometers of popular trends — found that nearly 90 percent had no idea what a podcast is and more than 70 percent had never heard of blogging. A research by DDB London found out that there is no buzz about blogging and podcasting outside of our media industry bubble, and also that people have no understanding of what the words mean.

What the hell is going on here? Are we all drinking our own Cool-Aid?

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