The Ad Contrarian is on sabbatical. For the sake of blogoholics and other harmless sociopaths we will be posting stuff from years back that is either still relevant or still silly. Here's one from 2007.
Dr. Adcontrarian is on duty today to help you be a happier ad person. Please have a seat.
It's not easy being happy in advertising. It's a frustrating business. Modern life is filled with many horrors -- war, husbands, pizza topped with smoked chicken. And we ad people are closely aligned with something uniquely unsettling -- popular culture.
Advertising used to be about discovering what consumers wanted and creating messages that addressed those interests. Now it's about pretending to find out what consumers want but really trying to figure out what the next hot cultural thing is going to be and jumping on it under the pretext of understanding consumer interests. Call me cynical.
Paying such close attention to pop culture causes great anxiety. It is non-stop slime bucket stimulation . We secretly enjoy pop culture because it keeps us edgy and anxious. This works its way through our back-door neuroreceptors to stimulate us consciously yet make us miserable unconsciously (full disclosure - I have no idea WTF I'm talking about but, admit it, if your shrink said this you'd nod your head.)
Anyway, I was on vacation not long ago. I was out-of-the-loop for a while -- off-the-grid, so to speak. I came back 50% happier than I left. After thinking about it, I realized that I was so much less tense and anxious because I hadn't watched a tv show, or read a newspaper, or visited a website, or watched a news broadcast for weeks.
You may be thinking that ignoring current events and paying no attention to the news is not conducive to good citizenship. This may very well be true but it is not the subject of today's session, so shut up.
You wanna be happy? Unplug.
A good place to start is to stop reading blogs.