‘Tis the season to reflect on what ‘twas and redefine what ‘twill be

Dec 19, 2019 • Aaron Goldman

Last week I got a bit nostalgic reliving the joyous journey from open pubs to closed ecosystems.

It was not an impassioned plea for a return to ye olde days of marketing and media but rather a recounting of the progress we’ve made as an industry and a look ahead to a bright future.

For more optimism, check out the byline I penned for Adweek on Friday titled, “TV Convergence Will Create a More Lucrative Future for Athletes.

These (sunny) hot takes seem at odds with less-than-bullish pieces being published about new government regulations and economic uncertainty looming over our space – and the rest of the world for that matter.

Sean Hargraves of Mediapost summed it up well in the context of our UK Christmas TV Ad Rankings with his article, “In Uncertain Times, Nostalgia Just Won Christmas.” As he points out, “Clearly, this festive season is more about the Christmas past and present than activism which, presumably, people can express in political discussion when not planning what to buy for their big spread on the main day.”

Indeed the commercialization of the holidays is taking precedence as brands seek to make or break their annual sales targets. And this year it feels like looking back at previous years has become the de facto formula. As you can see, Tesco took the top spot with its look at #DeliveringChristmas for the past 100 years.

When I wrote my book back in 2010 I noted that sex sells in advertising, but I neglected nostalgia. In a recent video making the rounds on Twitter, John Hodgman called nostalgia “the most toxic impulse” because it’s “based on the twin fallacy that the past was better and we can go back in time and get there.”

Advertising has always been about persuasive communications with brands trying to connect with audiences on an emotional level. To that end, nostalgia can be nice but without an uplifting promise it can be noxious.

Redefine CoverFor marketers, a winning formula is not dwelling in the past but taking the best of what’s old and embracing what’s new to prepare for the future. Such is the premise of our Relaunch Your Video series. In our fourth and final installment, Redefine, we’ve outlined a framework to break through with cross-channel video creative, relevance, and accountability.

Speaking of breaks, we’ll be taking one over the next couple weeks as far as this newsletter is concerned but rest assured our teams will be on the spot as always to help close out the year and usher in a prosperous 2020.

Wishing you and yours all the very best.

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