Monday, March 16, 2009

The Sameness Factory.

This morning I looked at some of the magazines my teenage daughter is flipping through. Vogue. Glamour. Marie-Claire. They are all the same. The all have the same cover. The same model smiling. The same cacophonous typography. The same articles. "Twenty tummy trimmers." "How to please him into pleasing you." And so on. It is all the same.

We have created in our world a giant abyss of sameness. As "creative" people we look for synthetic Goodby or Crispin or Chiat. Our clients look for ads they've seen before. Ah, life is easier that way, your judgment is not subject to judgment that way. Then there is the tyranny of scientific marketing. The "if-then-ness" that afflicts our business more and more. If you do this, then that will happen.

As usual, I am in a bad mood this morning. But at least my bad mood is mine, unique. And not like anyone else's.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just got a brief and have been asked to use the exact same concept as X, even though ALL the communication objectives are different this time round. Sameness indeed! This one's going to manifest itself as lameness, too.

bob hoffman said...

I beg to differ. I'm in exactly the same bad mood as you are and I think you stole it from me.

Anonymous said...

Is being in a bad mood a prerequisite for male CDs past 40? Just asking...

geo said...

I think if you have ethics, a sense of right and wrong and taste, over 40 or not, you're screwed.

Anonymous said...

Then we're all screwed, I'm afraid. At least the ones who aren't career yes-men.

Tore Claesson said...

What surprised me most when I first arrived on the shores of the US, and the ad-industry here, is how afraid everyone was of the client. Where I come from, and in other places I've worked around the world, there was this thing about being an expert and having professional standards.
Maybe it is because this country is by far the most expensive one to survive in? Healthcare, health insurance, dental, housing, schooling, you name it, it is all terribly pricey. And the taxes aren't that low. The only thing that is cheaper is gasoline, which means nothing as most US cars drink heavier than others, as every model has a way bigger engine here than in Europe and Asia.
Well, what I'm trying to say is that the tendency is to play it safe for all those reasons. The land of the free is everything but. Which I hate to say as I love this country and its people. Aside from being home to some of the biggest crooks in the world it is also home to the nicest and hardest working of people. That is why this country hasn't yet blown up despite the monied classes robbery of the working and middle classes.. A "french revolution" simply will not happen here despite all the weapons in the hands of basically poor people getting poorer by the day. Maybe it's the tale of the American dream that keeps people calm?