Apocryphally, Ernest Hemingway wrote a six-word story that could take your breath away:
Baby shoes. For sale. Never worn.
The great illustrator and writer, Tom Gauld, not long ago came out with this extension:
Using the above as signposts, I wondered if I could write some six-word stories about the modern advertising industry.
Revenue up. Margins down. Cut staff.
Revenue down. Margins up. Cut staff.
Revenue up. Margins up. Cut staff.
Shareholders want higher returns. Cut staff.
No matter what's exogenous, cut staff.
No matter what's endogenous, cut staff.
Is that a grey hair? Buh bye.
Is that a wrinkle? Buh bye.
Different point of view? Buh bye.
Trophies more important than real work.
Lies, damn lies, case study videos.
Bryan Buckley's too expensive, use iPhone.
You frighten your boss, buh bye.
200 banner ads due before lunch.
Four years' experience. Suddenly too old.
Hop on trend. Quickly hop off.
Celebrities solve all your marketing problems.
The answer? Data or more data?
A.I. One word or two?
No raises. C-suite needs doubling.
Open collaborative workspace needs noise cancellation.
Open workspace. One cough. Sixty sick.
It's original if you copy Wieden.
More for you, less for me.
Plead poverty. First class to Cannes.
Do it faster. No thinking allowed.
More people briefing ads than creating.
days creative, three weeks revision.
We support diversity. But aren't diverse.
already. You? Working lunch.
Mandatory lunch-time meeting. No lunch.
EOD. Is not 'end of December.'
PowerPoint leads to pointless creative.
24 people in meeting. 22 unnecessary.
Six-second spot. Twenty-minute caveat.
Pre-pro. I gained six pounds.
508 unread emails. That's since Tuesday.
47-second script. 30-second spot.
Been due tomorrow for a week.
Ad agency run only by CPAs.
Let's create better work, by committee.
17 rounds of feedback? That few?
Nothing sucks quite like a compromise.
Sure it sucks but client's happy.
Consumers morons. They're not your wife.
Not counting our losses, we're growing.
Throw under the bus. Rinse, repeat.
People ignoring ads? Just scream louder.
Diversity? Yes. Diversity of opinion? No!
Where are all the old people?
In Williamsburg no one watches TV.
Your timesheets, late. You're locked out.
We used to have that account.
You like it? I love it.
Destroying the environment but nice logo.
Doesn't work seem like it's NSFW?
They took my Aeron; readjusted lumbar.
Awards mostly for work that's fake.
Business results? You really harken back.
Pharma disclaimer mentions diarrhea eight times.
Verizon, big logo? Not an idea.
Paul Giamatti is no Albert Einstein.
Ask you're doctor if you're allergic.
No ending to spot? Everyone dance!