Thursday, December 4, 2008
Categorization is a means of discrimination. Whether it's sect versus sect in religion, lovers of rock versus lovers of classical in music or soccer moms versus ping-pong dads, when you shove people or things in pods, when you classify them you do so, most often, to say my group is superior.
That, naturally, brings us to advertising.
We have myriad categories that create divisiveness and, perhaps worse, bad work. We have traditional people, direct people, interactive people, yellow-page people, promotions people, and so it goes. Likewise we have work that fits those sorts as well.
Years ago I shot a nice commercial for a computer. When I was adding the titles to it, I added the machine's price. "You can't do that," I was told--by the client, no less--"this is a brand ad."
Huh? I thought the commercial had two objectives: make people think IBM computers are cool and to remind them to buy one. Those objectives did not seem contradictory to me.
OK. Enough for now. Just one more thing, there was an agency slogan I heard many years ago, I think from the agency Earl Palmer Brown. It was "Build sales over night, build brands over time." That makes sense to me.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 6:33 AM