Hey Advertising, Get Out Of Your Damn Way

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.”

Hunter S. Thompson wrote this, somewhat ironically, in a letter to the editor of the Vancouver Sun. He didn’t get the job he was asking for, but he got a different one. It was also a better one.

His words ring just as true for the Marketing/Advertising world. It’s an inward looking culture that has become a shallow meme of itself. The recession, such as it is, and the overall climate do no favors for those looking to make bold, innovative or interesting work relevant.

Instead, petty arguments by suits worried about offending possible clients or despairing bouts of manic re-writes obfuscate impactful images and neuter insights.  If the message is simple, clear and insightful, get out of your own way. Thompson might have agreed, if you could pull him away from the whiskey and the gun range. Come to think of it, maybe you should try following that example instead of another meeting.

Matt Cloud

Published by gavinjohnston67

Take an ex-chef who’s now a full-fledge anthropologist and set him free to conduct qualitative research, ethnography, brand positioning, strategy and sociolinguistics studies and you have Gavin. He is committed to understand design and business problems by looking at them through an anthropological lens. He believes deeply in turning research findings into actionable results that provide solid business strategies and design ideas. It's not an insight until you do something with it. With over 18 years of experience in strategy, research, and communications, he has done research worldwide for a diverse set of clients within retail, legal, banking, automotive, telecommunications, health care and consumer products industries.

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  1. Damn fine discourse!
    Say something different. when everyone seems to be saying the same thing. The only caveat I can add is that it’s always prudent to hit the gun range first. the whiskey last! To do so in the inverse order is… putting it mildly, a social blunder.

  2. How about some examples of the crappy advertising you’re referring to? You know, tie it all in? Otherwise, this post seems a bit pointless.

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