Jun 2, 2021

Are We Paying Attention?


I don’t know about you, but I actually pay attention to the commercials when I watch TV. It is a curious habit, but I have learned that I can pick up quite a lot of important information from what is being advertised. It is the simple idea of paying attention to pop culture cues, from movies to billboards to commercials to television shows, that help me see what is trending in our society. You can learn a lot from these cues.

It is often said that art and music help tell a story about a culture. They give us insights as to what is important and relevant in a given culture. Today’s art and music is deeply intertwined with commercials and marketing messages. It gives us insight as to what matters to people and where a given culture may be headed. And, taken collectively, it can give us insight as to how we might plan in the future.

For instance, here is one clue that I picked up this week. People are questioning and rethinking their use of time and lifestyle. Think about the ad from Outdoorsy about renting RV’s taking road trips or movies like Nomadland. As we reemerge from the pandemic, many people had an opportunity to rethink their lifestyle priorities and have reemerged focused on life on different terms. If a small percentage of people in the the nation, or across the globe, redefines their lifestyle habits, it could reshape consumer preferences.

Pay attention to the commercials. More than just simply marketing gibberish, they give us important clues as to what is trending in our culture. Start connecting the dots and you may find some insight that will help you as you plan for the future.

One important tip? Just steer clear from cable news. I have found nothing useful there in the last 12 months.

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