I'm in early once again and once again the office is as empty as a promise.
There's not a single ass in a single seat and the only sound other than that which comes from my ancient MacBook keyboard (only the cool kids get new computers) is the boom and whoosh of an over-achieving HVAC system.
I don't have a reason, right now, for coming in early. We are in the throes of trying to sell some commercials and our next "deck" is ready to go though our next meeting isn't scheduled until Monday.
This round of spots--my fourth with this client--I fear I've lost the battle. We have negotiated, not communicated. And, I fear, when we produce them, the client will wash their hands of them--like they were our idea--even though we were bludgeoned into them.
There are times when advertising is like the French in Dien Bien Phu in 1954. You keep building your arsenal, you keep fortifying yourself, but the enemy is more plentiful, more determined and has history on his side.
This is a dark age, I fear. An age of darkness, not an age of discovery. An age where the great advances are not drugs to eradicate polio, but are ways to make things cheaper.
Globalization--and it has taken over our industry--where centers of capital are distant from where the work is centered, is the law of the land. Wages are driven ever downward and no one seems to realize what Henry Ford realized a century ago, that without a middle class, there is no consumer class.
I'm no fan of Henry Ford. He was a virulent hate-mongering anti-semite who spewed his hate through a popular newspaper--the "Dearborn Independent." He distributed "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," in multiple languages throughout the world. He sold the Nazis war machinery.
All that. But he paid a living wage.
Today our best companies employ de facto overseas slaves and avoid paying taxes like my mother avoided giving compliments.
We, the people, are anesthetized. Doped out on televised stupidity, and hyped-up cupidity and on global warming humidity.
Our industry is dumb. We can't separate "news" from "new," and build apps and toys rather than businesses.
And it's all ok, so long as your timesheet is done on time and a bunch of bespoke blue-suited financocrats get their $16 million per annum despite having never written an ad.