Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Messing with Texas

This is for my advertising friends and colleagues.

Tell me if this has ever happened to you. Tell me if you've ever had this internal discussion with yourself, your grown up self.

"Wow. This is an expensive shoot. I can't believe the client flew us all the way to (exotic destination goes here.) I can't believe they put us up at this fancy schmancy hotel. And that they're paying for this holy-shit expensive restaurant. I wonder how many more whatchamacallits, doohickies or thingamajigs they'll have to sell just to cover the cost of shooting my idea?"

If you haven't had that chat, it's time you did.

"Oh waiter, make mine the Kobe Beef. Thank you."

I bring this up because once again our ad brethren are packing up their Capri pants, Fedora hats and beard manicuring paraphernalia and heading to Austin for the SXSW.

Here, they will drink undrinkable pine-flavored IPAs, listen to unlistenable music (?) and fawn over the latest shiny-new technology designed to wow clients, impress judges at Cannes and produce .00027 cents worth of profit.

Full disclosure: I've never been to SXSW.

But I have been at the ad agency when the "leadership" and "digerati" return from SXSW. And it's not pretty.

A lot of platitudes and -- pardon the excessive air quotes-- "inspirational" speeches about abandoning the old school ways of marketing and "reinventing" ourselves to adapt to the new, more targeted, more efficient ways of conversing with our consumers. Zzzzzzzzzzz.

You know, like Google Plus, Vine and Foursquare.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm an out-of-the-loop hopeless dinosaur stuck in the aging mass media tar of TV, print and radio. But I am sensing the pendulum coming back the other way. And that's cause for optimism.

In any case, here's a sneak preview of some the exciting events I will NOT be attending next week:

March 11th, 10AM-Noon, Roosevelt Conference Room at the Intercontinental. "Incubating, Granular Infomediaries -- a new approach to selling orthotic shoe inserts."

March 12th,  2PM- 4PM Jo's Coffee. "Let's All Slack -- Because there are never too many cooks in the kitchen. Or ways to set up a meeting."

March 13th, 9 AM-10 AM, Parking Lot at the Highlander Hotel. "Harnessing the Power of Mission Critical E-Tailing." Limited seating.

March 15th, 1PM--11PM HandleBar. "Generating Endless, Synergistic Methodologies -- if one strategy is great, two or three is even better."

March 19th, Closing Ceremonies, Festival Fairgrounds. Souvenoir lanyards and Participant trophies will be passed out to all attendants.

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