My three-year-old grandson led me to a meaningful epiphany recently. We were sitting at the kitchen table playing with some Play-Doh when he watched me sink my thumb into a small ball of the clay. He pointed to my thumbprint and asked, “What’s that?”
I answered, “That’s an impression.”
Like most three-year-olds will do, he followed my answer with a question: “Why?”
“Because when I touched the Play-Doh, I left a mark on it.”
He proceeded to copycat the procedure, pressing his fingers and handprints into several lumps of clay; after each masterpiece, he would attempt to form the new word he had learned: “Look, Grandpa, I made a ‘preshun’.”
“I left a mark on it.”
I had been to a marketing conference earlier in the week, where much of the focus was on falling CPMs, and rightfully so. Once upon a time, the cost of access to consumers was high, thanks to the relative scarcity of media. There were only one or two newspapers in most major metropolitan areas, and only a couple dozen radio and television stations (even fewer in smaller markets, of course). The law of supply and demand favored companies who distributed advertising messages, where the supply of big audiences was (comparatively) limited, and the demand was high.