Tuesday, February 4, 2014

State of the industry.

Something has gone terribly wrong in our business. And by "our business," I am not discriminating between those of us who create TV commercials and those of us who create sponsored tweets.

We no longer make a product people want.

We interrupt--but we don't delight, inform, entertain. We take, but we don't give anything in return. We are the assault and battery of communications, we are the abusive husband of marketing. We are brutal and demanding, always asking for more and returning less.

First, I think, is the notion that copy is an anathema. Frankly, my mind wandered during those :60 second spots that told you nothing, including who's paying for them, for :50 seconds. Believe it or not, though we are crushed daily by thousands of pieces of marketing shit, none of them provide anything useful. We hope our likeability is enough to make us attractive. I happen to think people want information and reasons why.

Second, we appeal only to the lowest common denominator. Surely, much of the world has gone dumb. But there are some people who haven't. Yet, we forget about them. We assume that meaningless tidbits of bullshit, that is, "engagement," is what people want. I think people hunger for something more. But we have USA Today'd communications. We have reduced everything to the equivalent of a puerile info-graphic.

Third, we are like over-eaters at the Golden Corral's endless buffet. We routinely have commercial pods with a dozen or more :30s in it. It's too much. The value of programming isn't worth the cost you have to pay in the commercials watched. The networks and channels are killing themselves as well as agencies with their greed.

In short, we have dumbed down and over-retouched our work so it's beautiful to look at but nutritionally empty. Then we air it amid dozens of other similar spots. Then we wonder why none of it is effective.

We need to go back to Bill Bernbach or Carl Ally.

We need to impart useful consumer information in an executionally brilliant way.

We need to inform. Not just entertain.

And we need to be judicious.

Does a bank really need to send out a post on lemonade?

Something has gone terribly wrong in our business.

We are building Edsels.

And then wondering why no one values us.

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