Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Advertising in Cuba.

Right now I am in the middle of reading a rather long article in "Harpers's Magazine" called "Thirty days as a Cuban: Pinching pesos and dropping pounds in Havana" by an excellent writer called Patrick Symmes.

To cut it short Symmes quickly gets to the corruption of the state. You get a monthly ration book that provides enough calories for about 12 days. Your salary provides enough money to pay for another four or five days of meager rations. But unless you steal from the state, as a normal Cuban you will starve to death.

In other words, the only law-abiding Cuban is a dead Cuban.

It occurred to me that there are parallels in this to our industry. If you only do work that clients will buy, your career will soon die.

Looking last night at the Kelly Award finalists and winners seems to bear this out. An amazing amount of ads for guitars, motorcycles, bras and zoos. I'm not asserting that these ads are phonus balognus, but I do find it odd that small spenders like the above can run spreads when major advertisers with budgets in the hundreds of millions can't.

Advertising sites, personal portfolios and the like seem studded with director's cuts, spec ads and other such abstraction. No criticism here.

The work you need to do to get a job isn't anything like the work you need to do to sell things to clients.

As Ricky Ricardo might have said, We've got some 'splaining to do.

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