October 28, 2013
Advertising Needs Troublemakers
The advertising industry has become too respectable, too congenial, and too polite.
We are in desperate need of troublemakers. We need shit-disturbers. We need hell-raisers.
We need the kind of quarrelsome, pugnacious, opinionated people that make the arts vibrant and interesting.
There's way too much consensus. Way too much cordiality. Way too little controversy.
Attending an advertising conference these days is like going to an insurance seminar. It is full of bland, head-nodding jargon-monkeys who are very keen on swallowing whole the conventional blather of smug "experts."
Nobody seems inclined to challenge the wearisome assertions of modern-day wizards, no matter how many times they've been wrong.
It's all backwards. Rebelliousness is supposed to be a characteristic of youth. But the only people I hear wailing about the insufferable tedium of ad-think these days are old fools like me.
It ain't supposed to be this way. We need people who aren't afraid to get up on stage at the next "big data" conference and pull their pants down.
We need people who aren't afraid to break a layout over a client's head.
We need people who give a shit.
You know what you call people who give a shit?
Last week I gave a talk at a conference sponsored by the 4A's called, "The Battle For The World's Most Valuable Consumer." You can find a transcript of the talk here.