While I won’t flatter myself to think anyone really took notice, The Marketing Smart Aleck blog was inactive for about a month. It was even longer ago than that since I last posted content that didn’t originally appear somewhere else. The reason for the absence was the illness and ultimate death of a close family member last month. I have always striven to keep the content here light and humorous. Over the past few weeks, my state of mind has been anything but light or inclined to humor, so I decided to take a break until it felt right to resume. Today it finally felt right.
Although I haven’t been writing in it, the blog has been on my mind a lot lately. The time off gave me a chance to step back and re-evaluate what this space has become since it started in September 2013, and where I’d like to take it into the future. In the very first post, I wrote, “I initially felt compelled to kick off this blog with a statement of purpose but realized, after some thought, that my real hope is to discover that purpose as I go along.” I’m happy to say that the purpose has revealed itself. At the very least, it appears as a sharper image now than the fuzzy blob in my mind’s eye last fall.
Ever since I was a child, I had an appreciation for how much we are all surrounded by marketing. It’s such a pervasive force that people tend to either not notice it at all or to become resentful of it when it seems to be intruding on their lives. We tend to tune marketing out as part of our selective attention process. It has occurred to me that this blog has really been an effort to get readers to stop tuning out marketing every so often — long enough to consider it as the significant cultural and social force that it truly is. That’s not to say I’m trying to convince anyone to love marketing. I come neither to praise nor condemn it as an institution, but rather to sift through various examples of marketing and over-analyze them to a ridiculous degree. After all, that’s what I do day after day, even when I’m not writing in this blog.
So, The Marketing Smart Aleck will continue on. New content will start appearing with roughly the same regularity that it did for the first five months of the blog. Just as before, there will be coverage of marketing-related current events, highlighting of odd products and nostalgic looks back at old advertising. In addition, (Teaser Alert!) a new feature will be starting this week and continuing for a couple months thereafter. Beyond that, my plan is to let this space evolve organically and see where it takes me. I hope you will stick around for the ride.