Have you noticed this?
Mazda: “Driving matters.”
Whole Foods: “Values matter.”
TiAA Cref: “Your money matters.”
It’s not surprising, actually. Our attention spans have shrunk significantly in the last few years, with no help to reverse this trend on the foreseeable horizon. In America, at least, the overwhelming overload of content we experience every day shatters our ability to pay attention to any one thing for very long, let alone figure out what matters and what doesn’t in the tidal wave of information and rapid pace of constant change. Recent research shows the age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention span even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer.
It can be hard to keep the faith when you’re worse off than a goldfish — and only as good as your latest tweet.
Is it any wonder companies have turned to breeding meaning into their campaigns, incorporating a word like “matters” into slogans and taglines in their efforts to get people to pay attention to them?
Ads are infamous for fabricating moments designed to send viewers into highly charged emotional states so we are more likely to buy the products being advertised. This latest trend around value and meaning only points to how far off track we’ve gone, raising the question:
Does anyone really know what matters these days?
When we reach a point in our collective history where mega corporations are dictating what has value and meaning (while at the same time indicating what doesn’t), we have a lot more to be concerned about than which iteration of smartphone we should buy or what to post next on Instagram.