Why GLEE is a Metaphor for New Marketing

Did you get your GLEE on last night? I sure did and it was quite satisfying. If you haven’t watched GLEE, it’s a hit TV show about a high school glee club who sing and dance like the coolest, sexiest bunch of misfits ever.

After I fully savored the season premier, sopping it up like gravy with a biscuit, a connection occurred to me.  Yesterday AdAge ran a piece about the Creative Exodus in Adland, in which famous creatives complained that the ad biz was just not much fun anymore. To which Edward Boches, Chief Creative Officer and Chief Social Media Officer of Mullen wrote an amazing response. He talked about how, actually, marketing and advertising is more fun than it’s ever been. Why? Because innovation and technology has allowed us to connect with customers in ways we never could before – social and digital marketing are the new kings of the marketing and ad world, and that stuff is REALLY fun.

So back to GLEE … if you think about the high school eco-system as a metaphor for the new marketing world, you can see how the football players are the brand managers at companies pushing for the next big play, the business touchdown. The cheerleaders, well they could be the account people and planners at the big agencies — popular, well-liked, tuned in about what’s cool, great outfits. The chess club – direct marketing and SEO quant jocks. The creatives, remember those guys who were the rebels? A little on the dark side, all rock and roll and motorcycles. Maybe that’s who they are, wanting to be outside the norm, doing things no one else is and rocking the boat a bit on the way.

If you’re still with me, I bet you see where I am going – those show choir kids, with all their theatricality, emotion-grabbing, fabulous geekiness, are the digital and social marketers of today. We’re excited about technology and what it means for our relationship with consumers. We’re adding flash and hip (and maybe some jazz hands) through social experiences on the Web. We’re looking deeply at the firehouse of information that’s being generated in millions of places on the Web and understanding people like never before because we can see into their lives.

We’re the triple threat of singer, dancer, actor doing all kinds of new, interesting and yes, really fun things to help companies grow. Sing it loud and proud, the marketing and advertising world is changing. We can tell stories, be creative and generate new ideas like never before, embracing the innovation that comes with it – geek is in!