Thursday, September 10, 2015

Intellectual Capitol

Good God!

Last week Google unveiled its new revamped logo. Here, in the picture above, we can see two Stanford-educated millennials, who majored in industrial design and minored in Organic Chemistry, Quantum Physics and International Geo-Politics, discussing the angle of curvature on the lower portion of the letter 'g.'

"It's too swoopy. And indicates we are a soft, malleable company without a direction or strategy for the future."

"On the other hand, if the angle is too abrupt, it says we are a robotic company without a stake in humanity.Mmmmm?"

"Let's schedule a 2 A.M. loopback session with the team."

"I'll reserve the Armageddon War Room."

"I'll have my assistant order the Pad Thai noodles."

And that's where we are at in America.

Refreshing logos, while the Chinese figure out how to make things better, cheaper and faster. While India transcends the boundaries of time and space and talks us through all our customer service and software problems. And while Israel creates and develops the kind of advanced technology that even the most ardent BDS supporters can't wait to get their hands on.

We tweak logos.

We remove serifs.

We put out billion dollar press releases patting ourselves on the back for this remarkable advancement.

I don't say this enough, but I've been fortunate enough to make a career in advertising. Where, despite all the insanity, I have worked with some of the smartest, funniest, most creative people on the planet.

I've seen people tackle the most complex marketing problems and author solutions that are nothing less than remarkable in their beauty, simplicity and "Damn-I-wish-I-would-have-thought-of-that"ness.

Of course, nine times out of ten, those solutions were met by a stone-faced client…

"What else have you got?"

I've seen resilience. Talented writers, artists, and thinkers, sent back to the drawing board over and over again. And delivering answers, again and again and again. Some better than the first. Others, not so much.

And I've seen dogged determination. There's a kid who works at an agency where I often put in some gigs. He must be a cyborg. No one works harder. Or longer (a lot longer than I ever could or would.) He does amazing things with PhotoShop. And has a better work ethic than 535 members of Congress.


It all has me scratching my head, wondering how have we managed to waste so much good intellectual capitol on banner ads, digital gadgets and TV commercials that have a shelf life of a terminally-ill housefly?

Maybe I'll do some research on the topic.

Bet I can find the answer over on Google.

Or Google.


Salty said...

This is why a lot of creative type people avoid advertising now. Creativity desires accomplishment. Not accolades, but the ability to produce something worthwhile. To solve a problem and have that solution implemented. We don't do that in advertising.

We destroy solutions in such a way as to make them exacerbate or otherwise prolong problems. What does changing the Google or Yahoo or Gap logo actually solve or do? Not a goddamn thing. We throw talent at questions that don't need answering, and then ignore them when they answer the questions that DO need answering.

The advertising industry is a vapid delusional old fart of its former self.

seanfeezy said...

For a while I have been saying that the greatest minds of our generation are hard at work making coupon apps. It is not just advertising that sucks at the soul of man. Every industry is a vain attempt at creating meaning. The men in suits hope to find meaning in money, and the creatives hope to find meaning in the making of things. But things are just the shadow of money, and money the shadow of greed. We are all caught in one big awful spiral.

george tannenbaum said...

Here's meaning for you. Do your best--regardless. Make the money you can make without completely sacrificing your personal integrity, and then go home and take care of your children so they can have a better life.