Think outside the box

In my fifty years plus of advertising, marketing and media experience I’ve never seen a phrase “think outside the box” that has been so totally misused and abused.

In marketing the advertising agency or marketing company prefers the introduction of a new campaign with the “think outside the box” or “new paradigm” phrase to get the clients full attention. Not incidentally clients are constantly calling on their service agencies to provide….you guessed it, thinking outside the box. This rush for something new frequently leads to wasted expenditures under the heading, new media, the rush to “new” justifies huge expenditures and often failures, but mostly just failures.

Today we are living with the media reporting world in a small state of panic because they were wrong about the 2016 presidential polling data and worse they were not able to influence the voter or at least enough of the voters to view Trump as a nut case loser. In the self-analysis the media is going through now they are desperate to make certain they don’t look stupid or ignorant again, you pick the adjective that best reflects their incompetence in analyzing data and building in the assumptions they must use to reach their preferred results.

Today I heard at least two “reporters,” “pundits” say they had to create a “new paradigm” or start “thinking outside the box” in analyzing political polling and reporting.

Based on my considerable experience with new paradigms and thinking outside the box projects I caution the news media to pass on these clichés and stick with reporting the truth unobstructed by your personal opinions. And if God Forbid Trump performs as he promises report it and if he fails report that, it will help your profession regain some respect after your dismal performance in the 2016 presidential reporting effort.

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