The Attraction of Interactive Communication is that it is a return to the
prehistoric human fascination with telling tales!
Since the beginnings of any civilized society the market place was the hub of
civilization, a place to which traders returned from remote lands with exotic
spices, silks, monkeys, parrots, jewels - and fabulous stories. Interactive
Communication, properly executed, more resembles an ancient bazaar than fits the
business models companies try and impose upon it.
People respond to interactive
opportunities because it seems to offer some intangible quality
long missing in action from modern life. In sharp contrast to the alienation
wrought by homogenized broadcast media, interactive opportunities provide a
space in which the human voice would be rapidly rediscovered.
Unlike the lockstep conformity imposed by television, advertising, and
corporate propaganda, interactive communication gives new legitimacy and free
rein to play.
People long for more connection between what we do for a living and what we
genuinely care about. We long for release from anonymity, to be seen as who we
feel ourselves to be rather than the sum of abstract metrics and parameters.
We long to be part of a world that makes sense rather than accept the
accidental alienation imposed by market forces too large to grasp; to even
Remember the market place, of old. Caravans arrived across burning deserts
dates and figs, snakes and parrots, monkeys, strange music and stranger tales.
The market place was the heart of the city, the kernel, the hub.Like the
past and the future it stood at the crossroads.
People worked early and went there for coffee and vegetables, eggs and wine,
for pots and carpets.
They went there to look and listen and to marvel, to buy and to be amused.
But mostly they went to meet each other to talk and interact! Markets are
So what went so horribly wrong? From the perspective of corporations, many of
which by the twentieth century had become bigger and more powerful than ancient
city-states, nothing went wrong. Things did change however.
Commerce is a natural part of human life but is has become increasingly
unnatural over the intervening centuries, gradually divorcing itself from the
very people on whom it depends, whether workers or customers. The result has
been to create a huge chasm between buyers and sellers. Advertising's
Conventional advertising has failed the natural human need for social
interaction. We have created a media society during the last 30 or 40 years
where there is an extraordinary reduction in interaction because of the one-way
and more passive form of information that exists. People desire to be taken
account of, to affect change, learn and personalize their relationships with
their environment. These psychological and sociological factors are part of the
incentive to interact with advertising. However, these tend to be minimized in
the incentive direct response field, there are a phenomenal number of reasons
which cause people to interact which go beyond just giving them things.