June 10, 2015
Advertising Is Like Golf. No, Seriously.
Golf is what you're supposed to do when you retire.
Before I retired from the agency business I was a fairly regular golfer. But because I have a compulsion to do everything backwards, since I left the agency business two years ago, I haven't played golf at all.
A few weeks ago I went on a brief vacation with my family and I decided to play.
It reminded me of something that connects golf and advertising.
Golf is an enormously silly game. When you see it on TV, or when you see people riding around in their clown cars, they look ridiculous. But ask anyone who's ever tried to play the game and you'll most likely hear this -- it is impossibly difficult.
In fact, the silliness of the practitioners masks the astounding difficulty of the endeavor.
In many ways, the same is true of advertising. A lot of advertising practitioners are ridiculous. They speak an absurd language. They have strange beliefs. They have a very high opinion of their meager accomplishments.
But that doesn't mean that what they are doing is easy. In fact, like golf, making good ads is seriously difficult.
While there are certainly some lazy people in the advertising business, most of the awful ads we see are not the result of people not trying very hard. They are the result of the extraordinary difficulty of the task.
Reminder to SF Bay Area folks: Book launch/signing party tonight in SF. Click here for details.