Tuesday, June 2, 2015

An Advertising Epiphany



I finally figured it out.

It took me long enough. Perhaps too long.

Others, smarter than me, got it much earlier in their careers. They worked it. Exploited it. And regurgitated it enough until the process was as natural as a cow chewing its cud 7 times over. And these smarter, now wealthier, folks never looked back.

Spit it out already, Siegel, or I'll turn my attention to my AgencySpy, where the design sucks but the comments are still pithy, snarky and to the point.

Ok, here it is, clients say they want different. They say they want disruptive. They say they want game-changing. And so we chase our tails, at least I have for far too long, in search of different, disruptive and game-changing.

But that's not what they want at all.

They want safe, copy-tested, Twitter-proof ideas that are slickly packaged with the thin veneer of different-ness. The slightest smidgen of unfamiliarity. As Jon Stewart might say, while gesturing like French chef, just a soup├žon of newness.

But never enough, and this is the key, to raise the eyebrow of the public, or worse the CEO, which could trigger attention and the call to the C-Suite headhunter.

"I know she's only been here 6 months, but we need a new CMO."

The problem is, in the era of mass communication, we've been fed such a steady diet of "new and improved" it all feels old and tired. As a result we get food porn, beer commercials that are interchangeable with soda commercials, and limited time Sales Events that run 24/7/365.

Same.
Same.
Same.

Back in 1998, Bill Clinton famously answered a reporters question with…

"That depends on what your definition of is, is."

Having had this little epiphany, I now have a better idea of what different is.




1 comment:

Cecil B. DeMille said...

I've found, ironically, that the best clients are actually the ones who don't care. About the job, the ads, or anything else I can surmise. They're content, secure, and utterly care-free. Zero fucks given. They're as rare as clients who actually want something different, but are far easier to work for.

Everything in between is a waste of space MBA with his or her belt fastened too tightly.