Thursday, May 23, 2013

As good as new

This is just not something you're going to see everyday, a rear windshield constructed solely from duct tape.

Actually, that may not be 100% accurate. If you'll look closely, in the center, you'll see some blue painter's tape. Perhaps this mobile MacGuyver was running out. Or perhaps he put it there as a spot of color, to break the pattern. A safety measure, as it were.

I'm no stranger to the ubiquitous powers of duct tape. I've used it to patch a hole on a bicycle tire. I've jerry-rigged a new duct tape hinge for the old refrigerator in the garage. And once I used it to wrap up a diaper when my wife was out of town on a business trip.

It's a magical, classless, wonder tool, favored by hillbillies and affluent homeowners alike.

If I may paraphrase Homer Simpson: Duct tape, is there anything it can't do?

Duct tape a has a lot going for it. It's durable. It's inexpensive. It's flexible. It's fast. And it's impervious to the elements. One thing it's not however, is invisible. And this, to me, is the most important attribute one should look for in a windshield replacement.

This may be a stretch, but in many ways this is what is wrong with advertising today.

We come up with these voluminous decks that check off so many boxes. Work that is digital, social, and engaging. Work that is media agnostic, holistic, and synergistic. Work that is on time, on task, and on point.

We do the kind of work that appears to check off every single box on the deliverables list. Except the work fails miserably at the one job it was intended to do: to sell stuff or services.

I keep picturing Joe Handyman putting the finishing touches on this duct tape masterpiece and handing the car keys to his girlfriend. She starts up the car, adjusts the rear mirror and turns to him...

"It's nice and all, but I can't see shit."


George Tannenbaum said...

I'm neck-deep in one of those decks right now.

A tale of sound and fury signifying nothing told by an idiot.

Tony Mariani said...

It may not have sold anything but it did win them a nice new advertising award which would look good wrapped in duct tape!