Wednesday, November 15, 2017

What's that sucking sound?

There's a sucker promoted every minute.

Notice I didn't use any demeaning adjectives around that. I didn't say stupid suckers. Or imbecilic suckers. Or even dim, clay-brained suckers.  Because the suckers I'm talking about are not dumb. Not in the least. In my 25 years+ plus career in advertising, I've met some pretty damn smart people.

Whip smart.
And you have to be to get to where these folks are. (Although let's be honest, the ability to suck up  plays a large role in their largeness.)

I'm simply saying they're gullible. And consequently susceptible.

How else can you explain the warm self-immolating embrace the advertising industry threw onto this thing called Digital? Here was this unproven platform, with bloated promises, fancy powerpoint decks and a thinly-veiled agenda to eat away at ad agency profitability, and yet these high-placed suckers went out and pimped it as an unprecedented game changer.

They bought it hook, line and sinker. Suddenly, every FSI, every statement stuffer and every metal-pushing End of the Year Sales Event had to have 360 degrees of Frivolous Fuckwadian Digital Knick Knacks™.

It changed the game, alright, but hardly for the better. For a more thorough and rigorous thrashing of this mishigas, I suggest you visit or buy Bob Hoffman's newest book, BADMEN.

Not only have agency brass been bamboozled by known competitors, The Digital Shysters, they've been hoodwinked by the very people who pay their salaries, the Clients.

More specifically, I'm talking about pitches, bitches.

Torturous, expensive, masturbatory marketing war games that leave nothing but misery and heartache in their wake. Losers come away empty-handed. And winners come away with a serial agency reviewer on their hands. A client who will double down on the pain they inflict and make them defend the account 365 days from the moment it is awarded.

Not long ago, my partner and I worked through the Christmas and Easter seasons on a pitch. Round after round of revision, which is music to a freelancer's ear. Followed by indecision after indecision. Again, not complaining. It's now been more than a year since the "final" (I use that word with trepidation) pitch, the client still hasn't made a selection.

I'm told by insiders that agency management is hopeful it will happen soon.
They're also, naively, counting on the budget to be even bigger than last year.


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