October 04, 2018

Soul Of A Subversive


I was recently asked to explain what I do and why I do it. This always gets me mildly uncomfortable and sets me thinking.

I know this sounds pompous, but the short answer is that I want to use whatever limited abilities I have to be a subversive force in the marketing and advertising world. I think we need subversive thinking. I am sure we don't really know all the things we pretend to know. I think this needs to be pointed out often and at high volume.

The job of subversives is to undermine the dogma, conventional wisdom, and entrenched interests in our business by finding facts and espousing opinions that challenge our supposed experts. That's the only way well-articulated bullshit can be exposed.

The marketing and advertising industries are in a very strange phase these days. Usually in culture and society it is the young people who challenge the tired legends and rituals to lay bare the flaws.

But in our industry, it is the young who have become the guardians of the overworked clich├ęs -- the fantasy of interactivity; the "social" nature of marketing; the delusion of "conversations" about brands; the supposed yearning of consumers to "engage" with brands -- and it has become the duty of ancient fucks to challenge the received wisdom and oppressive doctrines.

I'm not complaining. I like it. But where are the rebellious young people who are challenging the orthodoxy? How did they become so old so fast?

And in other news... 
...my new book will be published in a few days. I am hoping it will be a silly and injudicious relief from all the earnest, humorless bullshit that is published about our industry. Watch this space for info.




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