Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Just recently I came upon this quotation from "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller. It made me think of advertising.

"He knew everything there was to know about literature, except how to enjoy it."

It seems that much of the problem in the world today is that we're too smart, too professional, too schooled and too scared.

Liking something--and responding with a gasp or a chortle or anger or a laugh is like a fart or a hiccup. Liking something is involuntary and a reaction. Such things are not meant to be controlled by our intellect. However, in the corporate world brains rule and hearts are something you use on the weekend when you're pushing your kids in a $500 stroller.

In short, how many people do you work with--including creative people--who know everything about advertising or marketing, except how to enjoy it.

Maybe the difference between good advertising and bad advertising is enjoyment. Good advertising should be enjoyable. You should feel enriched by it. It should elevate, educate or amuse. It shouldn't just lay there like a lox.

A lot of people think enjoyment and work are mutually exclusive. Nothing on any 360-review says "Does he/she enjoy work?" Laughter in the workplace is insubordination, insurrection. Noise is the start of a revolution.

In a month or so I'll be presenting a new campaign to my client. I'm going to ask them two questions when I'm done showing the work.

1) Is it better than the shows around it.
2) Did you enjoy it?

Above is a 1979 commercial from Collett Dickenson Pearce in London. It shows a car being made and tested. I enjoyed it.

1 comment:

Ed Hamlin said...

Love the humor and the prose. It is rare that you find someone with good command of words.