Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hi Boomers, we'll take it from here - UPDATED

Many things have been said about the twenty and thirty-something centrist/liberal voter. Most have been derisive and dismissive; "apathetic", "insular" and "imbued with a sense of entitlement” are the most popular and for the most part, accurate sobriquets frequently used to describe. But in all successful open societies, complexity gives way to equity. Balancing out apathy is frustration, insularity has focus and entitlement stokes ambition. When you have a segment of the population that consists of frustrated, focused and ambitious individuals nearing a presidential election in the current climate empowered with tools that give unprecedented influence to voice, you're going to have change on a historic scale. That change began in earnest last week.

In a brilliantly guerilla-esque ad, an unknown Barack Obama supporter (update 3/21/07: identity revealed on the Huffington Post) took the old Apple/Ridley Scott 1984 Super Bowl ad and remastered it complete with digital enhancements ('O-08 logo on the shirt, iPod fastened to hip, etc.) to make Mrs. Clinton into Big Brother. Especially biting was the video of Mrs. Clinton that was used; it was her well received cozy sofa chat debut video off of her own website.

Intelligent, skilled and motivated and not connected to Madison Avenue or political consultant firms are the people that are going to wrest this country back from the establishment. Dying on the vine are Karl Rove's mythical mailing lists and creaky prime-time swift boat ads. Their replacements: blogs, facebook pages, homemade viral videos and meet-ups. Who needs street rallies when you can create an ad in your pajamas purely because you believe and end up on all three of the major news websites (MSNBC, FOX, CNN) the following Monday morning.

In 1979, the futurist Alvin Toffler coined the word ''prosumer". Initially, it referred to an individual who would have influence over their purchases (a mash-up of the words ''producer" and ''consumer.") Today, the term applies readily to anyone who has an innate understanding of the web, technology and branding; because in actuality, we're not just voters anymore but informed consumers who would like to upgrade from the current model.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What it really means is that the candidates have lost control of their message. The race will be shaped by the voters, not the spin machines of either party. This is going to get interesting before it's over.

--The Commodore