It’s not 2005 anymore, certainly not 2010, virality is dead, bubbling up from the bottom doesn’t exist, and the big get bigger.

For a while there it looked like Madison Avenue was faltering. And if you follow the ad biz, you’ll see that the agencies are challenged, fearful of being cut out by the middlemen, i.e. Facebook and Google, but the truth is advertising power is having a resurgence.

In a sea of cacophony he who yells loudest wins.

I know this sounds contrary, I know word of mouth is king, I know Google and Yelp and RottenTomatoes are just a click away, just a click away, but sometimes you just want to belong, you don’t want to miss the event. In a Tower of Babel society we yearn to belong, and it’s those who saturate us with advertising who win, at least temporarily.

That’s another thing, nothing has legs, not even music. It hits and then it’s done. Except for that which builds slowly, and the funny thing is outsiders can take a long time to bubble up from streaming to terrestrial radio, but if you’re a star, you get a look and are either listened to or ignored and then the audience moves on, unless they go to see you live. I know this is contrary to everything you learned in the past, but the world changes, consolidation is not only happening in tech. So, you feed your fan base and hope to get lucky and reach more people or…

You’re the beneficiary of a huge advertising campaign that gets everybody to partake immediately.

Like with last week’s “Mission Impossible” movie.

Sure, the reviews were good, But no one reads the reviews you say, and that’s true, but they SEE THEM! It’s the presence of the reviews that counts so much, when tied in with the billboards and the TV and web ads, if you’ve got something good, you can hook people.

Because they don’t know where to turn, they’re lost.

For every self-styled expert, there are a zillion who are completely flummoxed and are looking to be led from the wilderness.

And they follow the trends. The big get bigger and the rest…

Are lost.

Which is why streaming services are fighting to provide saturation ads for new releases, like Spotify with Drake, they want to keep superstars happy, and it’s a virtuous circle, with all the views, with all the hype, outsiders look in and check it out.

How do you get the word out?

Well, start with your little circle. Don’t fall prey to the hypesters that don’t deliver. A lone review in the paper, one feature on TV, they mean nothing. Unless you have a whole campaign, with tons of mentions/views, you’re wasting your money and your time. But you want to do something, you want to feel powerful, you want to get ahead.

Well, that’s why you sign with tastemakers. Sure, streaming may undercut the majors, but then the streaming companies will be the powerful advertisers. And for now, the labels have relationships that they utilize to get the word out if they believe in your project. That’s another thing, if they don’t think you can hit, they don’t want to spend another cent, they’re willing to walk away from sunk costs.

So I’m in the airport and see endless ads for “Beautiful,” the Carole King musical. Now it too got good reviews, but it’s been playing forever. But now the show is partnered with American Airlines…

Used to be these partnerships were hogwash, brand burnishing that didn’t matter. But that was when there were a limited number of options, when you could fathom the world. Now if you’re big you want to leverage your brand everywhere.

Online it’s about seeing something everywhere. Especially on Facebook and other social networks. And it doesn’t work for everything, but it does for an impulse buy, if the perception is what’s being sold is a hit, worth paying attention to.

The days of promoting and selling a stiff are done.

But the days of a hit making it by its lonesome are also done.

You’ve got to match quality with saturation advertising.

On some level we’re back to the seventies, when bands had billboards on the Sunset Strip, it gave the impression that they were BIG! As well as the ubiquitous congratulation ads for selling out you saw in Sunday sections.

You can sway public perception. Lady Gaga hasn’t had a hit in eons, but she’s constantly in the news such that people believe she’s happening and they need to see her.

You can’t go away anymore. If anything, you’ve got to be in play constantly.

And failure is instantly forgotten.

But if you’ve got something big, something great, you’ve got to TELL people in order for it to succeed.

But there are very few things this good and very few people with the money, time and commitment to spread the word.

Think about this.



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