Saturday, April 30, 2011
Houses without foundation.
One of the things I noticed in the photographs from the tornado brooked devastation of the American south, is how many of the houses picked up and destroyed like children's toys were built without foundations.
In the wake of Modernista!'s closing this week it caused me to wonder how many agencies and how many ad campaigns were similarly built, without foundation.
There are advantages to building foundation-less homes. It's fast, cheap and who needs a basement anyway? But though these houses looked fine before the tornadoes struck, they were weak, vulnerable and not made to last.
I've worked in this business for 26 years. I've worked for 12 different agencies. Some had an ethos, a belief system, a way of doing things. However most work and most agencies seem to be built on following what's "hot" or "cool" at the moment. They don't get in and explore the fundamentals of their own brand or the brands they work on. They produce well-designed derivations of the things that won awards the year before.
Award-winning work more and more often seems to be based on quick, cheap jokes. Thoughtful, deep work, work built on the essence of a brand (not just on making a brand cool) is considered too ponderous. It's fallen out of favor.
Houses without foundations are fine when the weather is fair. Likewise agencies when the economy is strong.
What happens when the wind blows?
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 10:37 AM