Will you just look at that? The classic 1950’s style Main Street. Can a trip to a Big Box store with its stale air and Muzak ever compare?
While many of us walking around today never experienced it, there was a time, before the Big Box Stores and Chains, when every town’s local businesses were the economic engines of the community. This in turn allowed the downtown to become a focus of civic life. A center of gravity that resulted in a more socially and ecologically ideal population density than the sprawl we live in today. So what happened? Big players came in and snuffed out many of the mom & pop stores. The local pharmacies, 5 and dimes and restaurants were run over by multimillion dollar advertising campaigns that sucked customers and capital to the outskirts of town destroying much of our open spaces in the process. Well, truth be told, I created some of those campaigns. Before creating VidoovySM I spent over 15 years developing advertising campaigns for some of the country’s largest businesses.
Well, now I’m ready to atone for my sins by using my skills to help reverse this trend. In fact, I created VidoovySM as a vehicle for my salvation. I have bid farewell to Madison Ave. and will now even the odds between our small, local businesses and my former corporate masters. Sort of the advertising equivalent of The Magnificent Seven.
I’m not driven by blind nostalgia. Trust me, I couldn’t live without my iPhone or GPS. I just don’t want to park in the middle of 100 acres of asphalt and buy them in a 200,000 sq. ft. sensory deprivation box.
I’m driven by two things.
1. I truly believe that, given the choice, many Americans would like to live, shop and eat locally. Not all, but many.
2. I believe that this rebirth of local commerce is completely possible and will help build healthier and more sustainable communities.
Like many people, I want our town centers to return to good health. Not just because they can be catalysts for our country’s economic recovery but also because that is the world I want to live in. And I think many people are ready to help recreate that world and will re-engage with their town’s business districts once we show them the superior products and services these local businesses have to offer not to mention the unique personalities that run them.
So let’s let the Olive Garden keep their bread sticks and get back to what made us great. Strong local economies that help create a feeling of community and well being. Ultimately I want VidoovySM to be thought of not just as a producer of online promo videos for small businesses, but as a tool to reroute business traffic back to our local merchants and revitalize our town centers.
Watch James Howard Kunstler: The tragedy of Suburbia (warning: strong language.)