Disruption Is A Herd of Rams (Don't Get Trampled)

"Every significant invention must be startling, unexpected, and must come into a world that is not prepared for it. If the world were prepared for it, it would not be much of an invention." –Edwin Land

Disruption does not land softly. A new way to do things or see things, by its very nature, defies convention, and defying convention is a good way to upset people. It’s also a good way to move people to a better place, but not without suffering several false starts, timeouts, and other annoying delays.

To “attract attention, maintain interest, create desire, and get action” has been the goal since 1907 when E. St. Elmo Lewis first framed these tenets of the ad business. To make or do new things that startle an unexpecting audience is the high bar in marketing communications. The question is always, “How do we do that?” And while the question never varies, the answers to this fundamental question change with the seasons.

Fade Out: The Collective Experience In Cinemas

Movie theaters and COVID-19 are a bad combination. Jonathan Kuntz, a film historian at UCLA says:

The core profit center for the motion-picture business since the 1910s has been theatrical distribution—getting those celluloid prints, and later hard drives, into projection booths nationwide. The virus completely ended this business, after streaming had already eroded it by going directly to the consumer.

The professor has a rather dire outlook and it’s not one that not everyone shares. Americans love to go to the movies and once it’s safe to do so again, whatever cinemas are left standing will serve this need. There’s also been a resurgence of drive-in theaters as a response to COVID-19, and that’s a big plus.

Are You Ready for Socially Distanced Live Music?

There Are Always Winners

There are always winners. Some of the industries that are winning in the time of COVID-19:

  1. Three million more fishing licenses were sold in the US last year compared to 2019 — a 40% increase in sales year-to-year.

  2. Sales of boats, marine products, and services across the country leaped to a 13-year high in 2020 to $47 billion, increasing 9% from the prior year.

  3. The company dubbed as the "Airbnb of RV rentals" --  Outdoorsy, which has seen 400% growth year-over-year -- is expected to hit $1 billion in sales by the end of next quarter.

  4. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association is optimistic about its 2021 outlook, which calls for a 19.5% surge in units sold.

  5. Across the United States and Europe, manufacturers and distributors of swimming pools and hot tubs are scrambling to meet an unprecedented wave of demand.

  6. As of mid-December, the median list price for homes in the Austin area was up 23.6% year-over-year — the biggest increase among the 50 largest U.S. markets.

Boating, fishing, swimming, RVing, and camping, plus home buying and remodeling are all soaring. While the US economy shrank by 3.5 percent in 2020, spending on home improvements and repairs grew more than 3 percent, to nearly $420 billion.


  1. A retainer may be necessary to cover the agency's hard costs, but it can also be an unwanted invitation to put the account on cruise-control.

  2. “The silent treatment might be employed by passive personality types to avoid conflict and confrontation, while strong personality types use it to punish or control.”

  3. What is Delta 8 THC and why is it legal just about everywhere? The New York Times investigates.

  4. Hear “Prison of the Highway” by Margo Price and Nathaniel Rateliff on CMT Crossroads.

Work With Me

To connect with people in today’s marketplace, you can’t just state your offer. Instead, you want to cast a spell.

Thanks for being here now.