Bob ‘Chaos Scenario’ Garfield Redux

Bob Garfield is pushing his “chaos scenario” again. This time “2.0” in AdAge. It’s an interesting and at times provocative roundup of various trends and ideas: some original, some borrowed.

He predicts the impending demise of traditional media (at least its current cost structure) and the substantial migration of advertising online where it’s both harder to reach consumers and easier to target them (my paraphrase) because of verticals and “the tail.”

I don’t have time to critique these and the other ideas in the article at the moment. But the tail and the head need each other — YouTube without branded content isn’t as interesting, and vice versa.

Garfield’s piece, though I don’t agree with many points he makes, is thoughtful and interesting (may require registration). Garfield is partly being provocative for the sake of doing so and getting attention and advancing his brand. But he’s also partly summarizing things that are really happening.

Big media companies won’t collapse and all ad budgets won’t flow online. But we are now in this paradoxical universe where targeting is becoming more precise but audiences are fragmenting and it’s getting more complicated and difficult to reach mass audiences efficiently.


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