The Media is the Massage

tiny massage In the late 20th century, media guru Marshall McLuhan* proposed that media are extensions of some human faculty—psychic or physical. While his theories have been discarded, rediscovered, pilloried, and questioned, that one statement seems to be truer and truer. Hence the name of this blog.

For instance, take “wearable” tech. I could try to explain it, but just check out this video to see the wonders:

Some of this wearable tech is actually wearable media–an example of emerging media.

This blog will examine and discuss emerging media through the lens of marketing. Marketers must understand emerging media. The days of spending months crafting the perfect print ad are over. Now it’s about getting a message to the consumer at the right time. On the right emerging media. And hearing back from the consumer. Just how is this emerging media going to affect marketing?

Here’s an example. I was at CES recently and visited a bed manufacturer’s booth. They have a new smart bed for children. Via digital tech, it does various wonderful and scary things. It can alert parents when kids are getting out of bed. It can monitor biorhythms. It has a built-in monster light (wish I had that growing up). It can massage you…the media is the massage as McLuhan would say.

bedThe all-knowing bed at CES.

Right now the app and bed are limited to the users. However, what if the bed tied into the parent’s social media? What if the bed knew that the child had a cold and immediately offered a coupon for Nyquil? Scary? Crazy? Possible? It’s coming!

Finally, it’s important to put some limits around what emerging media is in this context of this blog. I’m turning to West Virginia University’s Integrated Marketing Communications program ( for three major distinctions. First, emerging media refers only to social, digital and mobile media. I’m not talking about branded tattoos. Second, it’s interactive. Marketing messages can be created and disseminated by the consumer themselves. It’s conversations. As one writer said, it’s a new connected community ( Third, it’s 24/7 and mobile. Anywhere, any time, never off.

More posts to come on how this emerging media will impact, as McLuhan phrased it, our Global Village.

*Get more via Wikipedia at: Who is Marshall McLuhan?


One thought on “The Media is the Massage

  1. Marisa Peacock January 20, 2015 / 3:36 pm

    Great stuff, Greg. I look forward to reading more about your thoughts about the rapid development of emerging media — in all its forms. I am especially inspired by all the ways technology can improve our lives. Yes, the smart bed may seem a little crazy or frivolous. but for the bed ridden or physically disabled, the smart bed may provide a great deal of information for caretakers that previously made their jobs more difficult. When I look at emerging media, while it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed by it all, I seek to look for the value it brings. What does new technology let me do that I couldn’t previously? What information does it give me that I didn’t have before? I ask these questions as both consumer and marketer. (Of course, not all technology has to be useful or their utility may not be understood right away.) The same quest for value should appliy to all media — when posting to social media or writing a blog post, for example, more brands should be looking for the value in what they’re sharing and how it can add value to their consumers.


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