A very typical -- and typically muddle-headed -- piece called John Hegarty's Missing the Big Picture By Saying TV Ads Stink appeared last week in Ad Age. It was written by the ceo of a “video content marketing agency.”
The article lamely tries to take on John Hegarty, founder of BBH. Hegarty recently contrasted tv advertising with the resurgent excellence of some tv programming and found it wanting. He said…
“Our work is not matching the quality of writing and thinking that's going into all those great TV productions.”…which I think is about as self-evidently true as anything you could say about advertising.
Nonetheless, anything intelligent that is said about advertising these days has to be contradicted by someone with a bonehead ideology. Usually the ideology is centered on either the web or metrics or data. The guy trying to take on Hegarty is one of these flat tires who thinks that creativity is dead and advertising is now about data. He has this to say...
“...clever data usage is the only real hope advertising has left.”Yeah, right. This is the cry of the wretched philistine who believes that the only hope for literature is bigger book stores and the only hope for art is cheaper paint.
In fact, the only real hope for advertising is better advertising. Which, I believe, is Hegarty's point.
According to the writer...
"John Hegarty's rant... fails to recognize that advertising is now witnessing its most creative dawn. Never before has marketing been so exciting and innovative. It's why now is such a fun time to be a part of this industry."It's advertising's "most creative dawn" but "the only real hope is data." Huh? Make up your mind pal.
And it's "such a fun time" to be in advertising! Give me a break. The ad industry is a pile of consolidated, globalized, homogenized Wall Street excrement and this guy thinks it's prom night.
(By the way, have you noticed that when you publish something it is judicious and brilliant, but when someone who disagrees with you publishes something it's a "rant?")
I’ve been around the ad business for forty years, and here’s what I can tell you for sure:
1. Every era has its myopic nitwits who think this week is the most exciting, innovative, creative time ever.Here's some more nonsense from the article...
2. Advertising today is no different than it ever was. It’s mostly mediocre crap with the occasional light dusting of brilliance.
"The world's biggest TV networks can't guarantee brand advertisers 18-34 year olds. YouTube and Facebook can and they do it through data."Really? Please name me one major mainstream brand -- just one -- that has been built by advertising on YouTube or Facebook. Just one. I'll name you a thousand that have been built by television.
Second, targeting 18-34 year olds is the antiquated obsession of people who have reams of data and don't know what any of it means.
"Now that marketing has taken a paradigm shift and is entering the abyss of the unknown, brands and their agencies can no longer rely on such conventional ways of marketing; it's now all about data."Ohmygod, the fucking "paradigm shift." When can we get these jargon jockeys in one room and give them all the undiluted paradigm shaft?
That quote is a pitch perfect demonstration of the baloney these guys are peddling -- we have entered an "abyss" and we know nothing about marketing. Bullshit. We know more about marketing than we’ve ever known. We have more data than we've ever had. If advertising isn't working very well it's not for lack of information or data. It's for lack of ideas. It's because the data and metrics monkeys now rule the world and they wouldn't know an idea if it sat on their head and fired missiles.
And finally there's this...
"Consider that the only ad being talked about at media conferences two months after the Superbowl is not a TV ad, but a tweet created by Oreo during the game."Let me tell you something, pal. The Oreo tweet was a creative idea. It had nothing whatsoever to do with fucking data. Which totally undermines your boorish assertions and proves Hegarty's point to perfection.