Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The wikileak documents.

Of late, in the US, its been exposed that our ability to keep a secret is roughly equal to Paris Hilton's ability to keep her legs crossed. A bunch of Russian interlopers were seized by the FBI and just yesterday something like 92,000 secret documents were published online at a site called http://wikileaks.org/.

It occurs to me that in this plethora of information is a parallel to the advertising industry. The Obama administration was quick to point out that none of the 92,000 documents linked posed a serious security threat to the US or our troops. Andrew Exum in The New York Times said, "I have seen nothing in the documents that has either surprised me or told me anything of significance."

Yet we keep making these communications.

What we have here is a failure to communicate. We have tons of communication but none of it is really that important. None of it matters. But we keep on sending the crap out there.

It seems to me that you shouldn't communicate unless you have something to say. If what you have to say has no significance, why say it?

Why not try to find something unique to say, instead? (Years ago, when 100 millimeter cigarette burst onto the scene, Benson & Hedges made their cigarette 101 millimeters long. Their jingle via Mary Wells, "A silly millimeter longer," at least communicated something different.)

Life would be better if advertisers and National Security people followed this advice on acting from John Wayne: "Talk low. Talk slow. And don't say too much." Unless, that is, unless you have something to say.


Anonymous said...

We live in an age when nobody wants to be different, they only want to appear different. Clients make generic product and expect ad agencies to provide the unique selling proposition. Our job is to provide magic. We would have been forced to write ads for Benson &Hedges 100s with a jingle that said '100 silly millimeters the same'. Then we'd have been blamed for the campaigns failure.

Tore Claesson said...

I think the thousands of documents will confuse the heck out of the enemy. Keep writing. Keep them busy.
( I shouldn't have revealed this old trick.) Agencies use the same strategy to seemingly be in the know and on the ball. Aye, time sheets need to be filled. Even in the forces. If you don't produce at least word diarrhea you don't exist.