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The Great Media Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a wonderful metaphor for media clutter.

Let’s talk trash… Or more specifically, clutter

My desk can be a clutter magnet, my desktop has too many open tabs, and my post-modern, post-traumatic brain is drowning under too many to-do’s.

The terrible thing about clutter is that there are some real treasures swirling in there.

I can’t just sweep my desktop into a circular file, because under those mounds could be lost AirPods or an uncashed check.

And let’s not mention the slipstream of news, blogs, emails, articles, and too-cute-to-miss videos lashing at my tattered attention span.

Marketers know something about clutter

Everything we do as media marketers is designed to break through clutter—that fragmented morass of bits, clips, jingles, tweets, banners, and blogs I like to call the Great Media Garbage Patch.

It is our duty as self-appointed digerati to navigate and map this micro-fragmented sea of color, sound and fury.

Knowledge is power. Staying current is our currency. We embrace the flow—the deluge—of images and analysis, scooping up the ocean one biodegradable cupful at a time.

After all, it is our up-to-the-minute expertise that qualifies us to decide when and where to launch the next round of media content. If all goes well, our new offering explodes through the media soup like an ICBM warhead, dazzling and delighting its target audience and capturing precious nanoseconds of their attention…until finally, inevitably, it breaks apart and plummets back into the sea.

The Media Circle of Life

The irony is this… Even the most brilliant “new” media inevitably adds to, and is absorbed within, the same “old” media it was designed to shatter and transcend.

Content is King—for a day. But eventually it takes its place among the flotsam and jetsam. Today’s treasure is tomorrow’s trash.

Kind of like Life…and Death. And new birth. The circle of life. Every new campaign (or book or poem or blog) is a challenge and a dare—to make a mark, however brief, in the face of unplanned obsolescence.

Whether trash or treasure, the goal is always the same:

Break on through to the other side…

Please add your own treasures in the Comments below.

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