2008 – Stop, I’m Feeling Queasy

The dictionary lists News Year’s Eve somewhere in between underwhelming and overstated. Never in the history of the night out has one evening promised so much yet delivered so little (to paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill).

New Year’s Eve revelers fall into two categories: creatures of habit who do the same thing every year and creatures like rabbits in headlights startled by the possibility of partying like it’s 1999.

Each year the turn of the clock offers us fresh hope and redemption in equal measure as the bell signals midnight. Therefore, it probably makes quite a bit of sense to be a creature of habit and be around friends as kissing strangers or crying in front of them can make you feel a bit stupid the morning after. (Crying in front of a stranger after you’ve just kissed them is also bad form.)

I’ve always fallen into the second category of reveler when it comes to New Year’s Eve – you have to party, but you’re petrified you’re missing out on the best one. Subsequently, I’ve never truly enjoyed it. The best response I’ve ever been able to muster was that my New Year was “alright” – and that would have been a charitable one. This year we turned a corner due to me being as sick as a dog and not having any desire but to be cozied up on the old couch. I had no desire to be anywhere else other than my bed, and wild horses would’ve struggled getting me there, let alone anywhere else.

New Year’s Eve isn’t one of those events that’s been hijacked or twisted by Hallmark, or not successfully at any rate. Flicking through the channels allowed us to find the only anchor closer to death than myself – Dick Clark. But why all the fluff and waffle about there being over 1 million people in times square and talk of the whole world watching?

#1. It might be wise to read this Times piece about how they try to work out crowd numbers in Times Square.

#2. As if most of America is watching. An event that is based upon a specific time locally is always going to be scuppered by time zones. For example, not only does nobody stop up until five hours after midnight to catch the Times Square ball-drop in the UK, but it isn’t even on TV (well not until the day after on the news). The reality is that nobody else in the world cares about anybody else’s celebrations. The only time we did was in the year Y2K when we expected the end of the world to be televised. But we soon realized that sleep deprivation was going to kill us first, seeming not a single computer packed-up or plane fell from the sky – a power station in Singapore may have blown a fuse, but that was about it.

And that’s one of my hopes for 2008. I want a few more people to wise up considering we all know about a fool and his money. Let’s stop the pretense of billions of people with their eyes on New York’s balls dropping which vicariously translates to eyeballs for advertisers. 2008 is going to get tighter and we all know what happens to the old advertising budget when companies start tightening their belts.

The beautiful thing about online advertising is that it killed off the idea of eyeballs ages ago. You now advertise online with a specific goal or conversion in mind. Maybe you want to sell a product, get people to sign up for something, or make a phone call. All these things can be measured from conception to completion during each stage of the process.

But, you might just prefer the eyeballs – you know, there’s always that other party they keep going on about you might miss.

Have you ever thought they need you more than you need them?

Happy New Year People!

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