Monday, July 13, 2015

Read this. Now. Damnit.

Nuance and client feedback appear to be mutually exclusive in the year 2015.

When I do hear from clients it's rarely:

"Could the joke be a little more pointed?"


"It's feels flat, like it needs another twist?


"The strategy called for something innovative and different, could this be different in a groundbreaking sort of way?"

It's never like that.

If there is any feedback, and many times there isn't, there's simply the ripping up of one brief in exchange for a hastily-composed other brief, or it goes along the lines of:

"It has to be more urgent. URGENT!!!!!!"

That's advertising today.
Tear jerking spots and digital toys that sell nothing.
Or hard-hitting, retail, Tier Five ads that have to sell everything. EVERYTHING!!!

It doesn't matter if it's for cars, pizza, beer, or a phone company, the tail that wags the dog is the CTA. The Call To Action.

Clients want it louder. They want it stronger. They want the call to action at the beginning of a spot, in the middle of a spot and at the end of the spot. If it weren't for the pesky product or service they'd have the call to action be the spot.

They must know something I don't.

Because in all my dealings with a salesperson, I've never found myself convinced by someone yelling at me. Or annoying me. Or getting up in my face, so close that I can tell what they had for breakfast. Last week.

It's as if today's advertisers believe they can bully consumers into buying their crap.

And of course no one on the agency side wants to tell them otherwise because frankly, "if your agency won't get on the bullhorn and corral the sheeple into our abattoir, we'll find one, with a lower retainer fee, that will."

I miss the days when advertising was about the art of persuasion. Of pinpointing a unique position in the marketplace. And finding smart, subtle ways to convince consumers that no other brand was worthy of their attention.

We used long copy to cajole people, to inform them, and bring them around to a brand's point of view.

We used TV and radio -- remember radio -- to charm folks. Monday mornings at the office used to include water cooler chat about some funny spot someone had seen over the weekend. When was the last time you heard someone say, "Hey did you see that new Tostitos commercial?"

We used Creativity as a tool. And the agencies that had the better toolboxes were easily distinguishable from the ones that didn't.

That pecking order has all but disappeared. It's not unusual to see Weiden Kennedy pitching the same piece of business as the Zimmerman Agency.

In fact, in the year 2015, I'd give the edge to the latter, because no one does a CTA better than they do. When the FTC relaxes language restrictions on advertising, and I'm convinced they will, the vulgarians in Florida will be the first to drop the F-bomb in an ad.

"Get your fuckin' asses down here, before I come to your fuckin' house and punch your fuckin' lights out."

Client: That's good. Can you add 'today' or 'now' to the copy?

1 comment:

Elias said...

Seduction is a lost art.
(See Tinder)