Customer Review

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor to New Marketing Manifesto. New ground., 7 May 2002
This review is from: After Image: Mind-Altering Marketing (Hardcover)
John Grant's first book The New Marketing Manifesto was so packed with original thinking that you'd be forgiven for wondering whether he would update the case studies and say the same thing all over again. Lots of authors do. But in After Image he has gone on to new ground. In the current flux in the communications business with so much that is uncertain this book will delight and infuriate in equal measure.
Firstly Grant asserts that if the latter part of the 20th century was about materialism and aspiration - what gave brand imagery it's power, western societies have switched into full learning mode for the majority of the population. Brands have to play a fundamentally different role. This has changed the balance of power firmly away from ad spots towards programming and media that is increasingly open for marketers to place their own content.
The goal for marketers now is create ideas with which their brands can be associated. Ownership of this kind is far more valuable than the personalities which brands were carefully constructed from using insights into brand users and the aspirations of brand users. Concepts have a life of their own where brand imagery needed to be constantly promoted and tended.
Grant introduces a new branding model which draws on the latest research in neuroscience to show how mental propositions and sensory maps can be harness to take ownership of ideas. Quite a lot of the book is spent showing how to deploy this new branding model.
For me the compelling chapters are those on the different types of media: knowledge/reality/dialogue/memetic/story/reputation and how these should be used to trigger shifts in conceptual thinking.
You might think that this is a polemic against advertising from a former ad planner who has seen the light. Far from it - if there is a flaw in the book it is that it doesn't really explain what the new role for advertising is in a learning society - image is just irrelevant. Where ad agencies will want to quibble is whether controlling media content will ever be as effective as advertising. Even if marketers are sitting in the editorial chair cheque book in hand.
PR and new media agencies and some of the new wave media independents will fall on this book with unbridled enthusiasm but ad agencies will want to argue about the writing on the wall. Either way if you enjoyed The New Marketing Manifesto then you'll want to get your hands on Episode 2. Believe me it isn't a repeat...
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