What’s on base for 2007

1. There will continue to be a sucker born every minute. Actually, given there are now 10 billion of us, make that one born every .005 minutes. But only in poverty-stricken societies. So relax.

1. There will continue to be a sucker born every minute. Actually, given there are now 10 billion of us, make that one born every .005 minutes. But only in poverty-stricken societies. So relax.

Your customers will go on believing utterly nutbar New Age stuff that would have made a blue-painted Druid priest living in a pit in Yorkshire four thousand years ago blush.

But if you want to sell them something, you will have to pretend you believe it too. Focus groups will continue to help you groove on the vibes of the Great Unwashed.

2. Speaking of Focus groups, forget ‘em. The same kind of people who sold us on Focus groups have decided to sell us on The Mysterious Workings of Our Inner Brain as Where It Is At. It’s the new Phrenology. And it is hot.

So it is essential to have handy a colour-coded chart of the human brain, with arrows. Or just scribble one on the corner of a napkin.

3. Very soon, a major research study will reveal that your food product, which you thought was good for people, or at least neutral, is actually very very bad for them. As Lewis Black says Is milk good for you or bad for you? (Broadway Theatre Audience: Silence) Lewis Black: I rest my case.

But don’t panic. There’s hope for doomed products. If DDT can make a comeback, anything can. Look for Seat Belt Bans, Global Cooling, Cholesterol-enriched Foods.

4. Somebody will launch a six-bladed razor with the line The first blade bends the beard hair over so its ass is sticking up in the air, and the next five blades make it go ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.

5. Irony will die again soon. Only to spring back to life. Ha ha! And so on.

6. God will keep making a big comeback from His death in 1966 as per Time Magazine. Just not our God, especially if He is the God behind the new ‘Ten Million Dollar’ United Church campaign. You wanna dick around debating gay rights with Him, when the competition’s loss leader is 72 virgins!!! at the push of a button? Do we need focus groups for this?

7. Everyone rich will soon be poor (France). Everyone poor will soon be rich (China).

8. There will be this great new diet.

9. So help me, we have not heard the last of little JonBenet Ramsey. She is to depraved murder sagas what the two-scoops-of-raisins Lumber Jack is to breakfast cereal campaigns.

10. People will continue to find the most interesting things on the planet are other people. Despite Madonna, Paris Hilton, Bono and Mel Gibson, The Cult of Personality will survive.

11. So just find out who is going to be hot. And sign them. If they are not going to be hot, do not sign them. Got that?

12. Incredibly, in 2007, an athlete or film star will emerge who people actually care about. Like we cared about Doug Flutie. Or Audrey Hepburn.

13. Your momentarily ‘successful’ marketers will still believe they have been benevolently chosen by God to Be Everything to Everybody. This used to be called Timothy Eaton Syndrome, but is now called Total Experience Marketing. It is like religion, except with retailers.

14. Just when you’ve nailed down the Campaign Concept (ie: banking, dry cleaning and oil-and-lube at a donut store) That Will Last 1,000 Years, two bad quarters in a row will scotch the entire management team, and you’ll all be back on monster.com looking for work.

15. Someone will remember that Bill Bernbach once said ‘It took millions of years for man’s instincts to develop. It will take millions more for them to even vary. It is fashionable to talk about changing man. A communicator must be concerned with unchanging man. With his obsessive drive to survive, to be admired, to succeed, to love, to take care of his own.’

Barry Base is president and CD of Barry Base & Partners, Toronto. See highlights of his career to date at www.barrybaseandpartners.com.