Is It The Best You Can Do?
A new year brings a lot of talk about favourite advertising of the year that's passed and new campaigns being launched. It's interesting, but it also serves to remind me that agency people and media commentators look at advertising in a totally different way from the target audience due to their investment in the work and their attachment to the ironic referencing of cultural and, yes, advertising staples.
The whole process of pitching, working up ideas and then having to get them past the client is bewildering to me and is surely not the best way to do things. Despite the efforts of a lot of talented people, it is undeniable and unsurprising that a lot of wasted advertising is produced. The system places the focus on jumping a series of hurdles and it is a strong person who ignores that momentum and asks what I think are the vital questions - namely what's wrong with this ad in terms of its strategic message, its creative execution and its media buying? Is that the best we can do?
Even if it is the best that a bunch of very smart people have so far produced and normally cautious and uncreative marketing directors have approved it, should that be the end of it? The clutter above which you have to rise is louder and denser than before. We all know that, but let's not just pay lip-service to it. If it's not the absolute best you can do, then frankly what's the point of doing it?