Wednesday, September 3, 2014


I just glanced at an article that's being passed around Facebook. It was written by a guy I nominally know about a topic I am nominally interested in (advertising) and it was published in a magazine I have nominal respect for, "Fast Company." All that being said, I gave it my nominal attention, for a nominal couple of minutes.

When I was in college, I took a course in Existential Philosophy. We were assigned to read Sartre's tome, "Being and Nothingness." I tried but I could barely understand a single sentence.

Compared to this Fast Company piece, Sartre was as weighty as "Hop On Pop." What's more, it reminded me of an essay on "How to Ride a Bike" written by someone who suffers from vertigo who happens to have no legs. In other words, the assumptions in the article were naive and uninformed. There are too many to delineate here. You'll have to sip the soup yourself to see how it tastes. Article.

Here's the thing--in the form of a sports metaphor.

You can talk all you want about strategy, and positioning, and insight, and big data, and a thousand other jargony-buzzwords.

But some times, the best thing to do is just hit a two-run double.

I mean really.

You can blather all you want about this and that.

But unless you hit those doubles, your team won't score and you won't win.

Doubles in ad agencies can be many things. But they're usually not decks. Or research. Or, perish the heresy, an extremely well-crafted brief.

Usually, they're a good, coalescing spot.

In the 2008 election, it was Shephard Fairy and the word "Hope."

Nike's done dozens of them, so has Gerry Graf and David Droga.

We keep trying to ratiocinate our way into making advertising an exact science. Actually, we dwell more in the realm of fantasy--like creating from base metal, gold. Or a perpetual motion machine.

We sell by saying, this will be cheap and ever-lasting.

That's bullshit.

And if it's not bullshit, show me the cases where it's worked along with creative examples. I've seen real-life commercials that have built brands. I've seen them with my own eyes.

I've never seen a platform do the same.

Or a Like.


Google Plus.

Or snapchat.

I refused to be taking in by the Bullshit Bubble.

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