Thursday, April 18, 2013

Learnings from afar.

There's a lot of crap we see, hear and live with about marketing, about branding, about advertising. There are new buzzwords every day. New things that "will change everything." New things that "are dead." And new idiocies, memes, technologies etc.

I'm flying home today after two weeks in New Zealand. And my experience here has been a trifle eye-opening.

New Zealanders--almost to a man (or woman) are unfailingly polite, self-effacing and jocose. And much of their advertising and signage is, too.

At security in the Auckland airport, there are no loud voices and Verbotten signs screaming "DO NOT ENTER" or "ONLY TICKETED PASSENGERS ADMITTED BEYOND THIS POINT."

Instead, there's a simple sign that says "Ticket holders only." Then beneath that "Kiss your loved ones goodbye here."

Reading that it occurs to me that for all our manic chasing after of paradigm shifts, we have, as an industry, forgotten something very basic.

Be polite. Be gentle. Be kind. Be warm. Be witty.

There are probably other things that matter in advertising.

They'll talk about them at conferences like TED and SXSW.

People will ascend the corporate ladder sporting new titles while you have no idea of what they actually do.

And the new things that are promulgated might, somehow, matter.

But not if you're not first considerate of your viewer.

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