Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Dangers of Global Swarming

Referring to decades of missteps, mistakes and misguided notions, Abba Eban once said, "The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

We, the advertising community, are the Palestinians of the business world.

The current malaise of our industry is completely self-inflicted. And nowhere was it more apparent than this year's Super Bowl. Apart from an irresistible puppy and a horse, can you even remember one spot?

This should come as no surprise.

And I've written anecdotally about it before.

A creative briefing happens at 10 AM.
A creative check-in happens at 3 PM.
At 6 PM, the deck begins the assembly process for a 9 AM meeting the following day.


That's what the business has become. And instead of saying "Stop", Account "Managers" will often turn to the client and say, "Thank you sir, may I have another?"

But that's only one foot.

We would be remiss if, like the Palestinians, we failed to lock and load a large caliber gun and shoot ourselves in the other.

Enter the phenomena of Global Advertising. And the rise of the incredibly forgettable, one-word tagline, including:








I don't know when this hair brained idea began, I can only picture some mucketty muck sitting in a large conference room looking over all the disjointed campaigns his company has done in Europe, Asia and North America and thinking, "Boy we could save a lot of money if we just ran one campaign. If all the luggage matched, my bosses will be so pleased. They'll give me more dough and I can buy another yacht."

I can also picture the agency guy responding to such marketing fuckery with, "Yeah, we can do that."

Completely ignoring the fact that what motivates a middle manager in Mumbai to purchase a mid-sized sedan has nothing to do what moves a mother of three from Des Moines into a showroom 8,000 miles on the other side of the planet.

And yet, as is often the case, this colossal turd of an idea called Global Advertising is regularly dumped into the hands of the creatives. Who are told, without a hint of irony, that the client needs a Global Campaign with the following parameters:

TARGET MARKET -- Human beings, Age 1-100

MANDATORIES -- No Copy. Or only words that can be translated into 137 languages.

TONE -- Global. Friendly. Innovative. Warm. Leadership. Forward-Thinking.

Oh and one more thing…

DEADLINE -- 3 PM. Today.

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