One group of headlines focuses on the dire state of the advertising business as we bring down the curtain on the first decade of the millennium:
"Ad Spending Heads Into Tepid Recovery"
"2009 Set to Show First Revenue Decline for Nation's Top 100 Media Cos."
"More Firing Than Hiring at Ad Agencies"
The other is about everything in which the advertising business dabbles, beyond the making of ads, themselves:
"Five Best Branded-Entertainment Deals of 2009"
"Branded Virtual Goods are Presents for Marketers, Too"
"Five Keys to Branded-Entertainment Success"
"Twitter at a Crossroads: Audience Growth Won't Be Enough in 2010"
"Want to Innovate? Then Create a Rich, Holistic Brand Experience"
"Ad Age Launches Mobile App for iPhone, iPod Touch"
"GMC Partners With Social Network Tangle.com as More Marketers Target Christian Demo"
"Looking For a Second Career? Consider Being a Community Manager"
What does this tell me?
That what was once the future is now the present: Digital. Social Media. Brand placement. Brand experiences.
Advertising as we knew it is over. It sure was fun while it lasted.
And while old ad guys like me might shed a tear or two as the thirty second commercial goes the way of the Giant Panda, we should also keep our eyes on the bigger picture:
It's really not an end, but a new beginning. A whole new world of technology, insights and the myriad opportunities that come with both.
The king is dead.
Long live the king.