3 thoughts for the week of April 19 (thinking about zeitgeist)

Shea gazing into the crystal ball looking for zeitgeist.

  1. Zeitgeist” – say it. It’s fun, we promise. Zeitgeist is a good vocabulary word to know and minimum 19 points in Scrabble. Wikipedia tells us that the word is of German origin and is a combination of “Zeit” meaning time and “Geist” meaning spirit. It embodies the spirit of the day, that is the collective mood and mindset of group or nation. It is the “it” of our culture – what is making us tick culturally, intellectually, spiritually, in a big picture sense. In marketing, capturing the zeitgeist is sort of the holy grail. It is what we should all be striving to understand.
  2. Google tries to quantify zeitgeist for us. Each year, they publishes it’s official Zeitgeist that tries to tap into the global consciousness based on what everyone was searching for over the previous year. In 2009, we were into Facebook and Twitter, and a little movie about vampires and werewolves. But mostly it seems we were thinking about Michael Jackson. If the king of pop doesn’t represent your person zeitgeist for 2009, what did? Check out the complete 2009 Google Zeitgeist report.
  3. So, if the greatest marketing successes come from brands that are able to represent the zeitgeist of their times, who/what did it best? Maybe Ford when it introduced the Model-T. Or Farrah when she had her hair feathered and posed for poster in a red bathing suit. Perhaps Apple’s iPad will come to represent a whole new level of cultural connection. What do you think? Who has tapped the zeitgeist at just the right time and rode it to success?
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