The more things change, the more they stay the same. The TV show Mad Men presented a world from 60 years ago that was unrecognizable in its styles, technology, and social mores. Yet, the advertising principals employed by Sterling Cooper’s marketing team are very familiar. While life changes quickly, the parts of our brain that control emotional responses are slow to evolve. The elements of a winning ad in 1960 are not that different than they are today.
Since the middle of the last century, most products and services have been marketed to an age demographic of 18-34, which today comprises 75.5 million people. The consumers in that age group set trends, and effective marketing and advertising strategies have to anticipate those trends, many of which are taking place on social media.
Fifty years ago, consumers were fiercely loyal to products ranging from cars to colas. That loyalty was frequently baseless and often passed from one generation to the next. If I drove a Chevy, so would my offspring, and for years, the three U.S. automakers counted on it. When a variety of better-made, inexpensive imports arrived in the 1980s, GM, Ford, and Chrysler never saw them coming, because they never thought their customers would go elsewhere.
This summer saw the launch of seven new school websites across the state of Arizona, all designed and developed by the McFadden/Gavender digital team. The schools are part of the Arizona Charter School family and include three La Paloma Academy locations in Tucson, Heritage Elementary Schools in Glendale and Williams, and Liberty Traditional Charter Schools in Phoenix and Douglas.
A quarter of a century ago, the internet was a year old and there weren’t any commercial websites. Here’s what the very first web page looked like, in all its primitive, minimalist glory: