My daughter and I were playing in a neighbourhood playground Monday night. It is less than a year old, and was installed through the co-operation of the Salvation Army (who own the land) and the Moncton Wesleyan Church next door (who have money). I spied a piece of litter on the ground, so I picked it up, intending to put it in the garbage on our way out. This is what it had printed on one side:
It’s clearly a collection envelope. We were given similar ones at my church growing up, although the ones we had were issued to individuals and had numbers printed on them, so the people processing the collection each week would know who had given what (although you’d think God would know, regardless). I think it works differently at the Wesleyan, though: I believe that these envelopes are simply stuck into little boxes on the back of every pew, so congregants just grab one to stuff their donations into. So, if you’re following my mental picture, they’re readily available scrap paper for someone sitting in a service. Now, look what was written on the back:
“Do u have facebook.” What a classic snapshot of our decade. No longer do kids pass notes saying that the teacher is smelly. Or that the preacher in nuts. Those opinions are timeless and probably go without saying. Nowadays, the note passing is an invitation to go to a Web page and learn all about the note-passer. Don’t bother trying to fit your opinion onto a 2″ × 4″ piece of paper; simply direct the other person to your own personal online profile, where they can learn all about you!
Since this blog is ostensibly about marketing most of the time, I hope the obvious implication is not lost. Just like kids aren’t pushing their messaging anymore (instead they’re inviting their contemporaries to visit of their own free will), broadcast advertising is losing its value, and being replaced by consumers seeking out what they desire.