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Beyond Branding is written by members of The Medinge Group

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November 19, 2005

A night out at the movies may be a thing of the past 

Below is a response I made at Adpulp after following a link from Mike Bawden’s Much Ado about Marketing blog. The posts relate to a disappointing box-office summer in the United States, and query whether the is relevant.
has never stopped, and a lot of it has been driven by what technology can offer consumers. What this is part of is an even greater trend begun by the first —now that we can “own” (more correctly, license) a movie on DVD, the continues its slide into becoming more defunct. Yes, it remains a special night out, and cinemas are right to have more luxurious surroundings to entice us there—but they are becoming more “ attractions for locals” when DVDs offer similar potential clarity and the chance to pause, rewind and allow for bathroom breaks.
   Possible reversals to the trend will include a sense of community, one which we predict at the beginnings of each decade, but we have so far been wrong. The ’80s were meant to be less selfish than the ’70s, and we were wrong. The ’90s had the same selfishness but with a bent. The 2000s have begun with the same . American consumers, in particular, seem caught up in the idea that they are the stars of their personal TV shows, as though The Truman Show were real for them, and products and services have continued to treat them accordingly. Only if a sense of returns—the opposite of the behaviour exemplified by Fear Factor or Survivor contestants—will we start seeing a reversal, or at least a realization that our individual, selfish “personal stardom” is a farce in the big picture.
   I don’t advocate for a second that we all dress in the same Mao suit or see the same movie, but there are many things which we have in common. The idea of “”, for instance, is common throughout most of our 6·5 billion, but we just aren’t at the same stage in our respective countries to demand that of our leaders. I still hold hope for the as a uniter, for the wind-up $100 for developing countries, and sufficient people wanting to help their fellow human beings, but to achieve this we need to change our thinking from “starring roles” to “supporting roles”—something which will take a bit of a societal shake-up to kick off. Sadly, didn’t manage to unite the world beyond October 1, 2001, so it makes you wonder.
   Perhaps there will be that one great movie, or that one great movement, that will speak to every person deeply. Or, maybe the cinema will simply have to adapt to our ever-segmenting tastes, become venues for digital , and develop new technologies where small booths see the movie of their choice, on larger-than-TV screens—an intermediate step before we become engaged in experiences.
   Not much directly on , but there is much on the underlying reasons behind why Beyond Branding was even written.
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