The 00ies. iPod, AdWords. Quote me happy. #004

The 00ies. iPod, AdWords. Quote me happy. #004
Photo by Tierra Mallorca / Unsplash

At the start of the century there were real concerns that computers may stop working due to the design their internal clocks only working on 2 digits rather than 4 digits. It was a busy time in the tech landscape.

Apple released the iPod in 2001 and Google started Adwords in 2002. Alongside the technical revolution came the consumer revolution and the application of technology to the British landscape. One of these revoltions took place in the insurance market. Traditionally people would visit a broker to get the 'best' insurance. Now this process was being changed by the ability to contact insurers directly, cutting out the intermediary.  

'Quote Me Happy' Advertisement

'Quote me happy', a campaign by Norwich Union, now Aviva; insurance over the telephone rather than having to walk into physical branch.

That was such a successful advertising campaign. Quote me happy generated a huge amount of change.  Pretty much overnight in 2004, 242 branches of Hill House Hammond which was the insurance broker owned by North Union were shut. 1600 jobs went as a result of this campaign because the high street was no longer needed. (

Whilst we are taking a historical perspective, we are now in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics. There are many jobs that won't exist in the future because a computer or a robot is going to do it.

We will have to do something else.

I think that over the next five to ten years, probably closer to ten, there's going to be a step change in how things work and what we do with these computers. At the moment it's still very much in its infancy. There are things that we haven't ironed out yet.

These things do, however, have a habit of creeping up on us and becoming reality without us necessarily noticing. It is often evolutionary, not revolutionary.

Again, a word of warning when you read things from the past.  

“the findings show that the Internet is highly accepted as an information source and reservation device. However, using the Internet for all channel functions (including physical delivery) is evaluated considerably less favorably.” Van den Poel, D., & Leunis, J. (1999). Consumer Acceptance of the Internet as a Channel of Distribution. Journal of Business Research, 45(3), 249-256.

Written in 1999, it's not that long ago.  The findings show that the Internet is highly accepted as an information source and reservation medium. Expedia is a great example.  Expedia was started by Microsoft not by a travel company, it was a technology company that then moved into a market.  It was easier to acquire the knowledge of the market than it was for the people in the market such as Lunn Polly and others to acquire the technology.  With legacy systems are much harder to replace with new systems than to just start afresh.

“Using the Internet for all channel functions including physical delivery is evaluated far less favorably” so we wont be using Ebay? We wont be using Amazon? We wont be ordering shopping online?  This is so far off.  

Everything needs a back office, everything needs a warehouse but to suggest that the internet can't be used for buying online was crazy, and the numberswill only continue to increase as the alternatives lose attraction.  We can't even park in the high street anymore.  If we go to the town superstore it's just a miserable experience.  I can go onto Amazon now, I can order and it will be here tomorrow.  Thank you very much.

After 2003 we moved into Google Analytics, and Facebook in 2005.  

In 2008 the iPhone was launched.  

My first mobile phone, I bought in September 1994. I had graduated university, I joined the police service to be stationed at Farnborough in Hampshire but I lived in Taunton in Somerset, in the West Country.  I wanted an ‘Orange’ Nokia one ‘the future's bright the future's orange’ so I bought a Nokia phone on the Orange network. In order to activate it,  I had to drive thirty miles north to get a signal. I bought a phone for £600 that I couldn’t use because I liked the phone.

People do silly things.

Original Lauch advert for ORANGE in the UK 1994