I just started reading a new book by Jamie MacVicar called “The Advance Man”. This is the story of Jamie’s life as a Regional Marketing Director (promoter) with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus back in the 1970′s. It is a very long book (660 pages) so it will take a while to finish it. I will give you my review of it when I do.
I didn’t join Ringling until a decade later but I know or worked with most of the people mentioned in the book. So far, my initial thought is that nothing changed for 20 years (1970′s - 1990′s) in that company. This is not a bad thing. Those 20 years were considered the “most powerful” years of live event marketing fueled by Allen Bloom and his team.
There is an old Bob Dylan line “I forgot more then you will ever know” and this book is bringing back many great promotions and advertising ideas that I had forgotten about. It got me thinking, maybe we should bring some of that old thinking back. Many of the promotions that were done in the 70′s and 80′s would still work today. As I mentioned last week, the message has not changed just the way we communicate it. Maybe there is a place for both the old and new to work together?
Just as I was writing this, I read an article in Ad Age Online about how Fox is marketing the movie Avatar. Guess what, they are marketing the movie with both the old and the new. As we all know it’s paying off. Sometimes we get so caught up with staying ahead of the curve that we forget about what still works.