Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The past and prologues.

Yesterday two things happened to me.

1. I had about two hours on the phone and in-person with various people who work in media.
2. I discovered and perseverated upon the concept of neophilia. The free-floating exaltation of all things new to the detriment of depth, focus and past precedence.

My discussions with media were not fruitful. I was arguing, not for any specific channel, but for the concept of fewer insertions each with greater impact. I tried about eleven-teen ways of explaining what I thought was a fairly simple idea. I'd rather have 12 large insertions than 71 small space ones.

Finally, exasperated I remembered something decalled either on the walls of the old Ogilvy HQ on 8th Avenue or imprinted in our frontal lobes at Ally & Gargano, I forget which.

"Small companies run small ads."

I tried that out on the media folks. But apparently they were thinking instead about the next free hockey game a rep was taking them to.

All this made me think of, of course, neophilia.

The new, the now, the au courant is not bad. But it is bad to eschew all that has come before. Because some of what is old is precious. It's that simple.

The tragedy of our species is that we never learn from the past. We make the same mistakes in just about every human endeavor. We have no history. Was it Faulkner who wrote "The past is never dead. It's not even past"?

Oh, I know.

Who the hell is Faulkner.


Unknown said...

More dots on a media schedule form makes a bigger impact. On the paper it's printed on. The opposite is true when the (small) ads finally run. The media landscape is increasingly fragmented. The job is to defragment the exposure. Sounds like your media people have a different agenda than making your work stand out.

Unknown said...


Rich Siegel said...

Didn't Faulkner play in that band with McCartney?

Adasaurus said...

"Small companies run small ads."
This is GREAT! I'm really not making fun. This really is fucking Brilliant!!

Anonymous said...

George...I'm a media director in Detroit. In the same way that you are chronically complaining about the destruction of the business on the whole, more specifically creative is the same way those in media are losing their creative freedom. Account guys are going in and promising 'more efficient buys' which translates into lower cost per points and basically, tonnage buys. We cant work within the parameters that they have won the new business on - and our hands are tied. Tore is correct, the media landscape has changed and there are billions of ways to deliver media now - moreso than ever before, but it is a f*cking battle to do the RIGHT THING with no money to do it with - we're only as good as the tools we're given. Without leverage, clout, negotiating power and a little budget, we're screwed. Take away a creative director's pen, paper, MAC and then critisize. I am really trying to say that it's not just your side of the business that has felt the squeeze of greed, but also our side of the business.

george tannenbaum said...

Agreed, Anonymous. I was not media bashing.

Adasaurus said...

George,What did the Media guy say? I fell asleep...something about Account guys over promising? Does that ever happen? Lets see... once,maybe.. three times... um twelve er ah well I guess it happens all the time now that I think about it.