February 23, 2012

Only Lebanon: suffering from SLS syndrome?

The Suffocating Lack-of State (SLS) syndrome is not yet at its most acute stages. Only Lebanon, or the illusion of democracy? Surrounded by devastating totalitarianism, stifling dictatorships, debilitating monarchies, consuming extremism, enlightened fundamentalism, and what have you. Only Lebanon, a true democracy by regional standards, with incapacitating SLS syndrome: a de-facto dictatorship, where ciTyzens are incapable of influencing the decisions - or lack of, for that matter - affecting the quality of their lives. State builders for social foundations and economic reform - where are you? I ask.

February 1, 2012

Are we stuck in 1984?

With the promise that technology would set us free?
In a recent AdAgeDigital article, 3D Modeling, Wifi Sensors, and Augmented Reality, are three new technologies with the potential to ‘change the way we shop (full article). Guest blogger Jad Sarout shares his POV (Point Of View) of on the matter - no pun intended, just a free standing opinion under the new-tech sun of our strange and terrible ciTy.

Jad says: “Interesting, but in my opinion these ‘new technologies’ are not capable of changing how we behave towards shopping unless they play the game by the new rules: free access and free sharing of information without control or censorship. For example, 3D modeling will remain, at best, able to attract attention as a novelty, unless it gears towards social sharing. I was once commissioned for a 3D clothes modeling project. This was the single selling point. A mentality where you build and sell your own investment story to your consumers. But in increasing numbers, they don't care where you put your money. Build a genuine story with your consumers, and let them do the work. Just look at Google. They don't need to market. They just release great products, users  do the rest. Google, of their own confession, spend a huge sums for a faster Internet, because the easier it is for users to interact, the better Google's sales. So instead of spending on marketing, they invest in their users. Everyone wins. CDs didn't change the way users behaved towards music; Myspace did. Better ads didn't change the way consumers reacted to online product shopping; customer reviews on ebay did. What will mutate the way we shop is users generated content, sharing, and free access to information. I might be wrong. Future will tell.”

And the Macintosh ad is still vivid in my mind, when Apple came with the promise that “1984 won’t be like 1984”. As marketers go back to the drawing board trying to understand how new technologies will shape the way consumers shop – are we still stuck in 1984? I ask.