What can one commercial say about the printing industry?
While watching television this past weekend I came across an interesting commercial (link below). The commercial spoke volumes about the print industry yet it had nothing to do with it. Anyone familiar with the print industry would recognize the familiar shots of aÂ printingÂ press.Â If that wasnâ€™t obvious enough the director of the commercial needed to show a part of the company name, most importantly â€œPRINTING.â€
So, you’re probably wondering what this commercial was trying to sell, the answer isÂ Viagra. Without saying it this commercial described the current landscape of the print industry workforce while trying to sell â€œthe little blue pill.”Â As a young member of the print industry my first experience viewing this landscape was at a print conference. I immediately noticed this given the large conference (sample size) and being one of the few with a full head of non-graying hair. Interesting how a director of a Viagra commercial would draw the same conclusion; there is a lot of â€œexperienceâ€ in this industry.
We know that the people with all of the “experience”Â are theÂ very same people who have kept their heads above water in a competitive industry, battling the odds to keep their businesses alive and thriving. They have changed the products they produce, markets they pursue, and technologies that they use. Many have been in the industry their entire professional lives adapting to keep things going.
That is why this commercial made we wonder. With an older workforce, where will the print industry be in 10, 15, or even 30 years? Looking beyond financial projections I am more interested in the workforce, technologies, functions andÂ impactÂ that printing will have on peopleâ€™s lives.