Is advertising as a paradigm now obselete?
Wikipedia defines Advertising as:
the paid promotion of goods, services, companies and ideas by an identified sponsor.
Do we really need old style ads anymore?
Generations X & Y don't absorb advertising like they used to, however they consume more media than ever.
Maybe companies could try producing really good media about their products and services and skip the spruking altogether.
More signal, less noise.
I think fist that Marketing (paying someone to find ways to get people to notice) is always going to be around.
The requirements of the job will, however, change rapidly over time.
The most sophisticated marketers today know that marketing is not necessarily about shaping a clever message as it is about shaping a clever product that speaks for itself.
Look to CitizenAgency.com and ResonancePartnership (plus others) for that sort of thinking.
As for advertising, I think that it can sometimes be argued that people don't know they need something until they are introduced to the idea. Like marketing, however, it needs to change shape from yelling at people into something more akin to a conversation. Read: Cluetrain Manifesto.
Speaking of creating media for your product - there was a series of short stories directed by famous directors that were effectively BMW commercials. I believe it was in response to BWM loosing the deal to appear in one of the 007 movies. Was fascinating to watch.
What other forms of media would you suggest they produce though? I don’t really want to watch an episode about the sale on down the road...
"can one man buy a discount shirt... against.. all... odds"