Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Throw away the brief


Two posts about advertising in a row. Change must be in the air.

To be completely transparent, I hadn't planned on writing this blog post today. In fact I was scurrying around in all the dusty corners of my brain to find something to write about. As I have been unusually busy spinning several ad plates at once. 

And then I came upon a piece put out by a copywriting hero of mine, Ernie Schenck. He's one of the older guys still laboring in this field. I believe Ernie is 45 years old. 

And yet, he's still bringing home a check. Well, he doesn't bring home a check, none of us bring home a check because that would necessitate leaving the house. And we can't do that because Precedent Shitgibbon dropped the Covid Meat in the Dirt way back in January.

But I digress.

Yesterday, Ernie posted this little nugget from the Lincoln Project.

If that isn't some wisdom for the ages, I don't know what is.

Who among us did not marvel at the speed and clarity of the Lincoln Project ads, that can be argued, brought down a fascist dictator. 

And who among us hasn't asked, "who are these fortunate folks doing these incredible, clever, punch-them -in-the-nose-until-it-bleeds, remarkable spots?"

And now we find out they accomplished all that without the aid (bullshit) and guidance (bullshit) and box-checking lists (bullshit) that seem to accompany every ad like object that gets made, from the sublime Super Bowl spot to the ridiculous overwrought and utterly disposable email blast.

I'd like to kiss the folks at the Lincoln Project. Not only for the work they've done. But for demonstrating and proving that good work does not spring from garbage prescriptive briefs or quantitatively-driven focus groups.

"This received a 38 score on engagement but only a 27 score on disruption. It gives me much concern."

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I had the distinct pleasure of working for the greatest planner to ever ply his wares in the ad business: Lee Clow.

I know people see his forte as a Creative Director. But that only stems from his street wise, gut wise, heart wise understanding of people, their instinctive behavior and the way people consume communications.

If this business is to ever recover, we need to show the Big Data people the door. And let creatives go back to being creatives.

I'll step off my soapbox now. 

I have some banner ads to knock out.

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