Monday, May 19, 2014

Away from the fringes.

I spotted this one half block from work.
The center of gravity of American--and maybe world--business used to be and maybe still is Midtown Manhattan. So the American advertising industry centered itself around that center and dubbed itself "Madison Avenue."

Today, of course, that moniker is as anachronistic as a cab driver who speaks the Queen's English, or even English as it is spoken in Queens.

Today, we have retreated to the fringes.

Madison Avenue might just as well be renamed Madisain't Avenue. Because we ain't here. We're not in the center of things. I suspect it's because we are no longer instrumental to the success of major businesses. We are a cost. Not a necessity.

Further, with the atomization of media and media channels, we spend our days working on communications that virtually no one will ever see.

It used to be when you looked at a creative's portfolio, you'd say "Oh, they did that Listerine work." Now we say, "I never saw that work."

I believe there's one road back for our industry. One way to once again matter.

Focus our clients on the one thing we want them to be known for. And put all our creative power behind that one thing.

If our communications are as fragmented and atomized as the world's messaging channels, all will continue to be lost. If you want to make a dent, it's better to throw a brick than to throw confetti.

There's one more thing.

Let's stop focusing on creating work that no one sees outside of Cannes.

Let's abandon Cannes.

Let's get back to the center of business, the center of town, the center of America.

And try to turn Madisain't Avenue back to Madison Avenue.

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