The death of the Water Cooler Conversation

Netflix’s arrival in Australia came with much fanfare, but really is just another step in a digital evolutionary progression.

Back in the day – before being able to stream movies live to our mobile was an expectation – the workers of our species had an ancient tradition passed down from generation to generation:

The Water Cooler Conversation.

Here, we would gather around our tribe’s water supply and regale stories of what was on TV about shows that *everyone* watched: Seinfeld, Friends, The Simpsons, The News.

TV Channels were limited and cable was expensive, so there really were only a handful of options for people to tune into.

If you wanted to send a mass market message, you simply placed an ad (or product placement) in one of these shows and everyone saw it.

Today, these limited channels and TV shows have been replaced with the infinite choice of the Long Tail of the web.

What we end up watching then, is no longer what ‘everyone’ watches, but tailored ‘Suggested for you’ algorithmic suggestions of what to watch – whether in a Google search result, Facebook newsfeed and now, Netflix viewing suggestions.

The central, physical office Water Cooler has been replaced by millions of digital, long tail ‘water coolers’ – blogs, forums, social networks.

Amidst all of this fragmentation, what strategy can brands employ to send a message and expect to get traction?

Deliver the Best for the Least for the Most.

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