The majority of the world thinks that we’re just spoofing around and I can’t blame them for that, most advertising men and women look like they’re having fun most of the time… and we are! We like what we do and if you aren’t having fun it follows in logical conclusion that you’re having a miserable time… we’re not.
We deal with some heavy responsibilities, impossible deadlines and of course people’s money, so we’re under the pump but the majority of us still love what we do and have fun doing it.
I guess this blog was initiated by my viewing of an old episode of ‘The Gruen Transfer’. To be honest I’m never quite sure whether the show is a taking of the ‘proverbial’ or a real acknowledgement of the brilliance that lies within what we do. Being the type of bloke I am I probably lean towards the ‘proverbial’.
So why should I be bothered what the motive of this show is? Truth is, I’m not sure either, but what I am sure of is that while the show makes it all look so easy, in reality it’s not all impromptu ideas and untested assumptions – it’s more complex than that!
Marketing, to give it its true term, requires something rare in todays world – the possession of intellect and dimensional creativity. Those ‘Gruen’ guys and gals that make up the panel appear, oh so casual as they create tag lines on the spot and build mini campaigns on the fly. Looks simple? Trust me its not – and that leads to my concerns. Making it look easy persuades people that it is easy and so they try it themselves and that’s dangerous and can be very costly.
Examples exist in every local newspaper, where small companies and ‘pretend marketing managers’ create some of the world’s worst advertising. Nothing sacred is spared, just twelve months ago I saw a small ad in a local paper with a photo of the owner leaping in the air like a scalded frog with the headline “Oh! Oh! Oh! How appealing!’
Clever? Not really. Plagiarism? Yes. Illegal? You bet.
And even if this law breaker gets away with it, what’s tactically wrong? Plenty. You see plagiarism is a two edged sword. As I wrote it I could hear it in my head – just as you did when you read this. Your subliminal said, “Oh! What a feeling – Toyota” and you forgot about this little guy and you recalled the Toyota brand and perhaps the TV commercial. Our friend just gave Toyota a free 15 second commercial and frequency of brand recognition. “Thanks a lot”, says Toyota and for your trouble we might even slug you for stealing our copyright.
I don’t intend to give away all the adverse reasoning for this act of pure stupidity but I am prepared to say this. Ad men and women don’t exist because they know how to wing it. Everything we do has a rationale, a purpose and a strategy and it’s those things that we learn and experience that cost the dollars. Sure it is easy sometimes but that only happens after studying; experiencing and learning and that, my friend the client, is expensive but cheaper than the alternative.