Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's about advertising.

One of the biggest trends in advertising, if you read the advertising trade magazines and sundry ad-focused blogs, is that it is no longer about advertising.

It seems to me that Adweek and Ad Age, Creativity and Agency Spy are more focused upon anti-advertising. On the one hand, you have myriad articles proclaiming the world is post-advertising. That consumers don't listen to messaging. I saw one article just yesterday that portrayed something like "10 All-Star Creative Technologists." One of those technologists said something like programmers and engineers are the copywriters and art directors of today.

(The other mass of content the ad press seems involved with is self-promotion. An ad that never ran for a charity that doesn't exist. A posting of a god-awful agency video on the virtues of recycling. And so forth.)

But let's focus on the advertising-deniers.

If you have a dozen hours or so, you ought to take a look at Neil Shubin's "Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body." In it Shubin makes pretty damn clear that we didn't just arrive in the 21st Century without precedent. Just about every bone, every synapse, every human reaction is the result of billions and billions of inputs made over billions of years.

To wake up one morning and say that the very nature of communication and humanity has changed is ignorance of the highest, or lowest, order. I often think about this when I'm at an art museum. I could be standing in front of a Caravaggio, a Bernini, a Rembrandt or a Van Gogh. If a nice-assed woman walks by, I'm going to look.

That's why advertising, regardless of the bloviating know-nothings say, will continue to move and influence people. The best of it appeals to human nature.


dave trott said...

George, IMHO if we learned anything from Bernbach, Ally, McCabe. etc, it is that the best stuff works and the other stuff doesn't.
That's how it's always been.
From Carravagio to advertising to social media to womens' asses.
The best stuff works, the bad stuff doesn't.

dave trott said...

Just to be clear George, I meant a great ass trumps a Carravagio, but a great Carravagio trumps an average ass.
Great advertising trumps dull social media, but an outstanding piece of social media trumps bad advertising.
So, IMHO, they are silly to argue that one discipline is better than the other.
The argument is still about what it's always been about: quality wins.

george tannenbaum said...

Dave, I agree whole-heartedly and whole-assedly.

Rich Siegel said...

I've sat in a room and dealt with these "great technologists." Most of them couldn't persuade their way out of a paper bag.

Unknown said...

Nothing sells like a beautiful line of code.

Anonymous said...

guys, laugh at the digital world if you want. its a bigger part of spend every year. kids and young adults would rather play games on an xbox than watch tv. tick, tick, tick.

Unknown said...

@anon Nobody laughs at the digital world as such. What the laughs are about is the amount of bs in relation to advertising, which nowadays is getting a lot of attention without much of critical scrutiny before published.