Friday, April 2, 2010

Point, counterpoint.

Some weeks ago I talked about a kid, Joe Tartaglia, whom I played baseball with when I was in high school, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Joe had a perfect swing. He made Ted Williams' look like a rusty gate but hell would issue ice cubes before Joe actually hit a ball.

Joe's swing is much like 99% of advertising.

Everyday I sit in meetings where work is presented that ticks all the boxes and follows all the strictures of best practices. Perhaps the work that most exemplifies this mania involves the discipline of interaction design. Everything links to where it's meant to. The logic is impeccable. The flow is flawless. You, the viewer, marvel at the perfection of the whole ball of wax. The interaction designer is praised. His wire frames tingle.

And I sit there and say, "OK, but. It's boring. There's no news in it. No promise is made to the viewer. I learn or get nothing."

I'm told to shut the fuck up.

Don't you see the "elegance" of it all. Hey, old-timer, they chide. Don't you get it?

What 99% of what we create in advertising is Wax Works. Angelina Jolie in Madame Tussaud's. It looks good. It's pretty. It may even have a little allure. But it's imitative. Hollow. And will melt if it's held up to the light.

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