January 24, 2011

The Young And The Witless

Here at Ad Contrarian global headquarters, we believe that one of the sacred responsibilities of a self-styled contrarian is to annoy the shit out of robo-thinkers.

Consequently, when we get comments from them that are critical of our opinions or our charming personality we are secretly delighted.

One of the disheartening things we have noticed, however, is the frequency with which negative comments from young-ish people are accompanied by ad hominem attacks revolving around age. The typical attack-comment has the following plot line: "You, Mr. Ad Contrarian, are an old geezer and I am a young hipster. Therefore you don't get it and I do."

It's pretty clear that there is a moron-logic-world in which young equals smart and virtuous, and old means stupid and corrupt. One doesn't need an autographed picture of Justin Bieber to appreciate the intellectual vapidity of this logic. Nonetheless, it seems to have great power in the new world of marketing -- particularly in the narcissistic lives of some young advertising people of the digital variety.

I certainly don't mean to imply that there is a lot of this going on. In fact, one of the reasons I keep writing this blog years after I've run out of things to say, is that I've found there are a great many young ad people who follow and enjoy it.

Whatever you may think of my opinions about advertising and marketing, I believe you will agree that I try to build my arguments on facts and logic. I can't remember a post I've written in which the argument was based on being "older and wiser." In fact, I find very little evidence that wisdom is correlated with either youth or age. I know just as many old fools as young ones.

The difference, however, is that the negative comments I get from old fools seem to be about the subject matter. The ones I get from young fools seem to be about the vain and imagined superiority of their youth.

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