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Archive for July, 2009

Fast food generation

“Live fast, die young.” I don’t know which rockstar said that but it seems very fitting for today’s time.

I’m not sure just how big the influance of advertising is on this development, but I do believe a lot of things are forced to be faster. How many movies of two hours plus are there still being made? The most popular videos on YouTube are short. And just how many – popular – songs exceed 4 minutes? It’s been a while since Led Zeppelin introduced their classic ‘Stairway to Heaven’, 7 minutes and 55 seconds in duration.

But it goes beyond media. 2 months is considered long for a relationship now and the general diet of the youth is focussed more on the ‘now’ than on the distant future. The fact that energy drink makes you even more tired later on doesn’t seem to matter. It’s just about NOW.

I think the questions “how?” and “why?” are more and more being replaced by “how fast can I get it?” or in some cases, completely forgotten in total. Concerning food, it’s just as if some people just shut down brain activity and open their mouth (see above photo).

How many people do you know that make pizzas themselves, in contrast to those who buy deep-frozen ones? Frozen pizzas don’t even have natural cheese, they taste horrible and they are full with artificial colouring and flavouring. Yet when I tell people of my age this – they are surprised but change nothing to their habits. I’m not entirely sure if they don’t want to know or just don’t care.

Enough examples. Again, I’m not sure just how much excessive advertising influences this process but I do know that this development influances advertising. An advertisement, whether it’s on TV, radio, print or the internet, has to be interesting within seconds. Else, it’s time to switch the channel, change the page or simply look away.

Sadly, this does mean a long-copy add is less likely to be effective. I doubt people would take the time. A viewer has to get him/herself involved with the question “What’s in it for me?” really fast. And this can be a lot of things. It’s can be the benefit of the product or the interesting bit in the commercial, like some story or joke that’s unraveling. People who become curious about the plot will obviously stick around longer or where to get it.

I think less and less people will read/listen/view ads, specially the new generation. They’re just bombarded with them. And all they care about is: “What’s in it for me?”