Monday, July 19, 2010

Two questions.

There is basically one thing an ad is meant to do.

It is meant to impart information that will serve to motivate you into some kind of thought or action.

We employ a variety of tools, techniques and styles in order to make this happen.

However, along the way the central advertising question changed from "will it motivate?" to something considerably different and blander, that is: "will it offend?"

Not offending became the shibboleth of so many agencies and clients. Not offending gave birth to an army of apologists. Every ad had to run the gauntlet of "be-careful-ists."

Their job was to make sure that there was something for everyone in everything. That everything was moderate and comfortable.

This is not to say that offending is the point of advertising. It's not. But advertising should take a stand. It should say something in an intrusive or original way. A way that's likely to ruffle some feathers.

What question do you answer to?

3 comments:

Unknown said...

I was at a creative semainar or something in Florida quite a few years ago. I can only recall two speecehs. One was by Tim Delaney. The other was by two guys presenting together. Both speeches were about things that hindered creativity and effective work from being produced. I vividly remmeber the humorus presentation by the two guys (but not who they were?). It was themed "concerns". In a highly entertaining way they went through all the concerns a client would have when it comes to ideas. We're driven by concerns. Concerns are whipping us lame.

Anonymous said...

Someone much smarter than me (I work in advertising) said this:

"Commercial arts is communicating FOR someone TO someone else. It's not about communicating to yourself. That's called fine arts."

All of you working in advertising are whores--but highly paid whores. Now do as you're told and shut up already!

Unknown said...

Well, re-reading my comment, I'm getting seriously concerned I'm going totally dyslectic. Or maybe I just suffer from the now so rare disease disobedient fingers. Which might also be of concern.