Fractured Culture

I was listening to NPR last week, and they were discussing “fractured culture”. The premise is that today we live in a world of infinite choices. Most homes have the choice of hundreds of channels, and within those channels are documentaries, cartoons, drama, reality, and talent shows. On the computer you can surf millions of websites, video games, listen to hundreds of radio channels and watch even more thousands of videos.

And then there’s social media-giving us a voice, a platform, and an audience.

All of this technology has given us so many different forms of expression, and entire communities have formed around a genre, a show, a new idea. Americans now live in a culture of multiple communities and cultures no longer broken down by geography, ethnicity, religion or age.

It’s a fractured culture. We don’t have the water cooler moments any longer-at least not as many. When the “Cosby Show” was number 1 (for 4 seasons in a row…), it garnered 23 to 28 million viewers every week. “Seinfeld” was the water cooler topic of discussion. “Did you see Kramer?….funny!” Now, the top TV show gets 11 million viewers. Sure, there are exceptions, as seen by the premieres and final shows (and the Super Bowl….!!) of a few shows like American Idol.—but the examples are few.

I think from a community building effort-our fractured culture is a good thing. Wonderful musical artists can be found and followed-even if they are never on the radio. Fine artists and photographers can have followings. People can find causes close to their heart, and be active in them. It’s a good time to be alive and wanting to find that voice-that community you want to be in. Rather than a homogeneous group, our communities are broken into a million beautiful pieces. I think that’s a good thing…

From an advertising and marketing standpoint-it’s a little more difficult to navigate these waters. Mass advertising on the most popular TV show simply doesn’t give you the audience penetration you’re looking for. But on the flip side, you can find your audience-just the right mix of consumer or client you’re looking for—and market to them directly. It just takes a little more time, research and effort.

Here at Force 5, we are all about building communities-whether that community is a group of satisfied customers, passionate employees, or a new market or membership. Our Fractured cultures give us opportunity and, quite frankly pause. We work hard and strive to find the right way to say the right thing to the right audience. We work to become strategic partners with our clients to find those ways to communicate effectively.

What do you think about Fractured Cultures? We’d love to hear your opinion.