March 17, 2008

The Consumer Knows Nothing

There was a time when advertisers weren't afraid to make decisions. They would trust their judgment. They wouldn't be too timid to have an opinion.

Unfortunately, those days are gone. Now, every creative decision is made by "the consumer"-- i.e., research.

This would be fine if there was a reliable research methodology to determine advertising effectiveness. But there isn't. I've been involved in about a million creative decisions made by "the consumer" and you might as well have had my cat make the decision.

I've never worked on the Apple account, but I'll bet you Steve Jobs doesn't let "the consumer" make advertising decisions for him.

As a former science teacher, I have a healthy regard for the difference between facts and bullshit. Consumer research has its value for certain kinds of marketing and strategic issues. When it comes to creative decisions, however, the consumer knows nothing.

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