Friday, December 20, 2019

22 Industry resolutions for 2020.

These are things I hope for. They won’t happen. But still I hope.

1.    We stop lauding work that never really ran and that no one outside of industry ever saw and that had no material impact on the health of a brand or its sales.

2.    We stop saying, ‘we need a young person on this,’ as opposed to ‘we need ______ kind of talent on this.’

3.    We stop saying ‘________ is available’ as opposed to saying ‘_______ has experience in doing this sort of work.’

4.    We stop calling everything an ‘experience,’ and then presenting a survey on that experience. My ‘restroom experience’ is none of your fucking business.

5.    We realize, finally, that we have so many meetings because Microsoft Outlook makes having meetings so easy.

6.    We’ll stop scheduling meetings every lunch hour, especially when we provide nothing to eat.

7.    We’ll remember that business success costs money. Like the Iraq war did not, as promised, pay for itself. Like the Plutocrat tax cuts did not, as promised, pay for themselves, advertisers replacing tv spend with social media will not pay for itself.

8.    We’ll start calling people out of unfounded assertions, claims and proclamations like ‘hyper-local is the future,’ and start saying ‘prove it.’

9.    Everyone connected with me, even in the least tangential way (which is how most people are connected with me), will never, ever ‘like’ something by Gary V. so I never need to see his bs in my feeds again.

10. We stop using words before there is general understanding of what those words mean. That alone would expunge ‘robust,’ ‘agile,’ ‘nimble,’ ‘data,’ ‘journey’ and ‘insight’ from most lexicons and would therefore make all remaining meetings between 27% and 42% shorter.

11. Management stops saying things like ‘there are no raises this year,’ when everyone knows management continues to get raises.

12. We stop hiding surveillance capitalism under the seemingly benign moniker ‘cookies.’

13. We stop the ad industry’s role in surveillance capitalism.

14. We stop re-targeting.

15. We stop selling customer data.

17. The four major holding companies will speak to their clients recommending against advertising on racist, misogynist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic FOX. No matter what Fox’s ratings.

18. People who attend Cannes vow to tweet no more than two times a day.

19. Once, maybe twice a year, senior management considers this ad. Written about 50 years ago. And how it’s truer today than ever.

20. Also, we stop allowing people to say ‘no one reads anymore.’ That is the 21st Century equivalent of saying ‘the consumer is a moron.’ And excuses us, advertising people, from finding ways to be interesting.

21. Decades ago, computer scientist Alan Kay said, “A change in perspective is worth 80 points of IQ.” We can encourage new ways of looking at things by spending 20 minutes a week reading Bob Hoffman, Rich Siegel, Dave Trott, Dave Dye and Ben Kay. They are some of the smartest people in the business.

22. Let’s not forget advertising at its best is simple, funny, smart and usually ubiquitous.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

My next-to-last-post of the decade. And a bonus.

If you're a New Yorker like I am, 
a lifelong, 
Clyde Frazier-idolizing, 
Checker cab riding, 
New Yorker, 
"New York" magazine courses through your very corpuscles.

About three days ago, I read of a new book co-authored by Walter Bernard and Milton Glaser. With a forward by Gloria Steinem. It's called "MAG MEN: Fifty Years of Making Magazines." I ordered three copies of the book for myself and some friends before I took my next breath. You should too.

To be fair, which I seldom am, you don't have to be a New Yorker to need this book. 

You need it if you care about writing. 
You need it if you care about design.
You need it if you care about communication meant to have an impact.
You need it if you care about being a human.

I had the great good fortune a decade ago to work on a pro-bono ad one-on-one with Mr. Glaser. 

My sense after spending 60-minutes sitting at his table--working--was 'here is a wise man. A curious man. A funny man. A human man. A passionate, restless man.'

Those qualities are all here in this book in abundance.

Also on display in words and pictures are thoughtfulness and craft. Without the bombast and pomposity that afflicts so many people today in every walk of life.

I especially liked the opening spread, reproduced below. Quotations from people who hated his various designs throughout the years.

One of the things I've noticed about the really great people in our industry--or any creative industry for that matter--is they accept that doing work they like often involves doing work other people despise. You might as well relish that. It's the price of being different. It's the price of trying. It's a cheap price at that.

As we near the end of this calamitous year, when the planet got hotter and our hopes for the future darkened, I'm busier than ever. I have more things to do and more people pulling at at least four of my five limbs. 

So I'll cut this short. 

Just two more pages I copied from MAG MEN that handed me a laugh and a smile and maybe made me think. I realize they're both pretty Jewish. But at least the type on this blog reads from left to right. 

Who says I'm not assimilated?

Even though, I'd buy tickets from a scalper to attend the Pastrami Olympics. Wouldn't you?



Some of the "Best Designed Books of 2019," with no commentary from me. From here.