If you’re in advertising and you want to produce good work that works, one of the first talents you must develop is that of being a bullshit detector.
You have to be able to spot bullshit.
And call bullshit.
There’s just so much bullshit and all it really does is promote distrust between a brand and a consumer. Further, I have to believe that except in the case of near monopoly offerings, like airlines, cable TV/internet providers, cellular ‘service,’ and a few others, most people, at least most people who are awake, will try to avoid buying stuff from liars, cheats and swindlers.
My bullshit sensor is pretty powerful and there are days and weeks at a time that sitting in a meeting and going over a deck is like chewing tin foil. When sitting through a creative presentation is like shaving with a cheese grater. And when hearing about engaging consumers is like having a rectal root canal.
I think most consumers are not stupid.
I think most of them know that commercials, ads, banners, tweets, press releases, sponsorships, hot air balloons, and the like are done out of the goodness of no one’s heart.
I think most people know that brands are not their friends. They might do good for them, they might even do good things in the world, but they’re not acting as a friend would. They exist to enrich their shareholders.
I think most consumers understand these things. They understand the difference between brands and their friends.
But brands go on pretending they’re our friends rather than they want to be paid for what they do for us.