Grant McCracken on the demise of cool hunting (www.cultureby.com):
Who killed the cool hunter? I think contemporary culture did. It got more complicated, in the process outstripping the cognitive abilities of even those who claimed guru status. And the knowledge of contemporary culture became more distributed. Increasingly, even the corporation had a clue.
Useful in their brief moment, cool hunters would eventually be remaindered by historical forces beyond their control. Those who live by the trend, apparently also die by it. And somehow I think that's fair. Surely contemporary culture is too interesting, important and difficult to be represented by catching phrases, exclamatory declarations and a haughty self importance. Cool hunters, you are now removed from fashion.
I suspect McCracken, who is an ethnographer, may have taken just a small amount of personal satisfaction in pronouncing the "end" of a competing discipline (no, they are not the same, but both compete for corporate attention and dollars). I do think he is right though. The rockstar personas of the Faith Popcorns tended to overshadow any real or at least consistent success.
We all delighted in the well-crafted phrases (myself included) designed to capture the zeitgeist of the moment. Or maybe that was the issue. I think in too many cases, cool hunters attempted to ascribe a zeitgeist to what were simply unpredictable fads and fancies with no deeper cultural meaning. When I see these phrases now, they have a Powerpoint-ready triteness to them, even when on the odd occasion, they are actually attached to real insight.
Share ideas that inspire. FALLON PLANNERS (and co-conspirators) are freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Posted by Mnels at 6/05/2006 10:20:00 AM