The End is Nigh!

A dispatch from the cultural front from science fiction author William Gibson, who discusses our current societal obsession with dystopia and the apocalypse.

A few of his insights:

·         In the 1920s, people frequently wrote about the 21st Century.  Today, virtually no one is writing or talking about the 22nd century, which Gibson finds “ominous.”

·         “We have very little control over anything…Fantasies of staving off the end of the world are fairly benign fantasies of increased agency.”

·         Many people today – in the US and around the world – live in conditions that could be considered dystopian.

Great brands often tap into threads that run through the culture.  What might this bleak view of the world mean for marketers?  Should brands try to make consumers feel more optimistic about the future or should they explore this wellspring of cynicism and gloom?