Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Assignment vs. Job.

Just over 100 years ago, Henry Ford said, "If I asked customers what they want they would have said a faster horse." In my parlance a faster horse is the assignment. That's what most clients and creative directors and account people ask for. "Give me something that's of or pertaining to something I've seen before, only with my message, political agenda and brand on it."

I say fooey.

That is the equivalent of generals preparing to fight the last war.

When all is said and done, I don't know what historians will call the era we're living through today. "The Digital Age." "The Post-Industrial Revolution." Or something else. I am putting forward "The Age of New." By that I mean there is little reason to do things the way they've always been done just because they've always been done that way. Death to best practices and those that practice them.

This morning on my way to work, there were monoliths of shrink-wrapped phone books in the trash in front of dozens of buildings large and small. They looked like Easter Island statues of obsolescence. That's right, the phone company or the directory publisher (who ever that is) is still distributing the white pages and the yellow pages. Are you serious? Has anyone under 25 ever looked up a phone number? Yet there goes another Amazonian acre.

Man, what would happen if catalog publishers distributed "Kindle"-light rather than sending out 80-pages of crap every three weeks?

I don't know.
That wasn't the assignment.

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