Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, January 07, 2008

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?


Blogger Robert said...

Good point John ...

The best lesson I ever learnt was looking at a TVC with my Mum.

When I told her I liked it, she asked why and when I explained my reasons she said I obviously looked at ads 'more closely or differently' because that was my job.

At that moment, I decided I had to try and rid myself of my 'ad-goggles' and return to normal civilization because my job is to motivate the masses, not alienate them.

Of course it doesn't always work - but my god it's made a big difference to what I end up doing on my clients behalf ... and contrary to popular opinion, that doesn't mean either a sponsored joke or some lowest common denominator rubbish.

I know this is a very self-congratulatory post [which highlights what wankers ad people are] but my point is that many in advertising are losing sight of reality and that could be why we're in the mess we currently find ourselves in.

Good post and I hope you take it on a bigger scale and get some real debate going.

5:31 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

I hope so too. But seeing as how I don't feature in the Campaign Festive Fifty or whatever it was, I doubt many from your industry come here.

But you well know that I have the highest regard for many of the advertising folk I've met - my disdain is for the process and unquestioning adhernece to it on both the agency and especially the client side.

5:38 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

How is Mrs C?

5:39 PM, January 07, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

Both are very well ... plus there's a third one now.

The cat.

Oh fuck, I've turned into one of those animal nutters!

The fact you're NOT on that Campaign thinggy is why we like you Mr Dodds, ha!

5:58 PM, January 07, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I in the Festive Fifty ?

1:06 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

Bubbling under I think Tom.

2:52 AM, January 08, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fucking hell, when will I get the recognition etc etc.

And another thing - what are these 'stats' everyone goes on about ?

I can't even get text to appear below photographs properly yet.

4:30 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger Rob Mortimer (aka Famous Rob) said...

Festive fifty?

I try to look at ads from both perspectives, and I agree that the norm is not necessarily the best way!

4:24 AM, January 09, 2008  

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