I Me Mine

Stuart Elliott writes a piece in today’s New York Times entitled “Nowadays, It’s All Yours, Mine or Ours.” It explores the trend of personalized-sounding ad slogans: “My life. My card.” My Network TV. Mycoke.com. Your choice. Your Chase. My N.H.L. My playoffs. My Stanley Cup.

The piece is liberally sprinkled with pundits and brand managers talking about “empowerment,” “ownership” and other obviousness. But it seems something’s missing, or at least not clearly stated, in the story.

Sure, consumers are empowered and feel a sense of ownership, but this is largely due to their use of the Web. They’ve been customizing pages, sites, feeds and content for a few years now, and it’s only getting easier to do so. At last, it really is about consumer choice. That’s why soft drinks, credit cards, banks and TV stations are working hard to assume a veneer of personalization.

They’re trying to be just like the Web.

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