Lost in the Shuffle, an ACBL-commissioned documentary-film-in-progress, is the most potentially significant happening in bridge since Charlie Goren came on the scene in post-WWII America and eventually led America into the Goren Era when, it was said, as many as 44% of families in America played bridge.
Check out these URLs: www.facebook.com/BridgeDocumentary/timeline
Why am I so enthusiastic about this film’s potential? Someone up there had the inspiration to initiate at the outset a strategic marketing study by the VCU Brand Center (scan Facebook citation above) . There, “seven teams of advertising students competed to come up with the best strategy for growing the game and ensuring its survival in the future.”
By so doing, the ACBL and film producers will have the expertise of graduate students who presumably don’t know much about playing bridge, but are skilled in retro brand marketing. The VCU Brand Center is one of the best, if not the best graduate program in the country in Retro marketing from what I’ve read.
I love the idea of the bridge establishment seeking a marketing plan from college students–the very market they need to intrigue into playing bridge! During the heyday decades of contract bridge, it was students just like those asked to do a marketing study who were a driving influence in the fad for bridge. And it was the gradual demise of the fad for bridge in college dorms during the 60s and 70s that began the beginning of the end of that fad.
So . . . VCU Team, first figure out how to intrigue students today, just like yourselves, into taking up bridge. Then move on to market segments beyond the college student demographic. Today’s students parents, for instance–boomers.
Any who’ve read my book or blogs knows I mostly complain about a bridge establishment that seems to ignore bridge history and how bridge became the raging fad it was in the 30s in the first place. It probably is the besetting sin of all “establishments” –talking to, listening only to others like yourself. [The recent Romney campaign comes to mind.]
To Sum Up:
Lost in the Shuffle, for me, is the most hopeful thing that could happen to bridge short of the reincarnation of Ely Culbertson. Now there was brandchanger!
Footnote: Editing Bridge Table Chronicles to become part of revised 2014 blog to be called The Bridge Table — I regret to say I do not know what has happened to either that great-sounding film project OR the VCU marketing strategy for reviving bridge. One of my main goals in 2014 is to find out and report on that.