99% Of Advertising Is Crap, And It's All Your Fault

Most advertising insults the intelligence, assaults the eyes, or both. Some of it is all but invisible and yet somehow still obtrusive. Some speaks to you in way that, if another person did, you'd punch them in the face. Some of it is incredibly dumb, and not in a charming way. It's the uninvited guest that gatecrashes into our lives and takes a dump on the lounge carpet.
Yup, almost all of advertising is absolute crap.

And you know what? It's your fault.

If you're a copywriter, it's because you didn't keep going until you found a way to make it good, even though no one has ever done great stuff on X or for Y.
If you're an art director, it's your fault because you gave in and produced something you knew was a bit shit really, because you thought you could do something good on the next brief.
If you're a marketing director, it's your fault because you didn't go back to your agency and say "you know what, I know this is what we briefed, but we all know it's a bit shit, I don't want to say to my family that I put this into the world, let's try again"
If you're an account person, it's because you didn't go over to the client and say "look, I know this is what you wanted, but this isn't really what you pay us for is it? Let us go back and do it better"
If you're one of those generic 'creatives' it's because you didn't bother to learn how to be good at a craft and so didn't really know how shit it was.
If you're a creative director it's because you didn't say "Look, I know this will be unpopular, but this just isn't good enough to let out, let's work out how to make it better, even if we have to push the deadline back, or work all night."
If you're a planner, it's because you did a psychology or some other pointless degree, couldn't work out what you wanted to do, saw a job where you could wear daft denim and talk bullshit, and took it.
If you're an ordinary man-in-the-street, it's because you didn't write a note to the company saying "I'm really sorry, but while you continue to run that piss poor advertising that is insulting my intelligence, I'm not going to buy your product anymore"
If you're the star agency team, it's because you wouldn't touch the brief because it didn't look like an opportunity for another award.
If you're a company director, it's because you didn't take an active interest in the most public face of your company until it was too late.
If you're an agency network big cheese, it's because you bought the smart agency, and then squeezed every last drop of profit out of it until it was incapable of doing anything but the same kind of shit as the rest of your network.
And if you're the mail room boy or receptionist at the agency, it's your fault because you didn't stay late and work on briefs after the creatives had gone to the pub, until you came up with something that made everyone say "Where did this idea come from? Do you want a job in the creative department?"

So you see, even though almost all of the advertising in the world is shit, you really have no one to blame but yourself.



  1. Planning is Killing Advertising23 June 2009 at 09:31

    You're rapidly becoming the poster boy/girl/hermaphrodite for the burgeoning anti-planning movement. I love how you can't disguise your disdain. To further reinforce your negative opinion of them (which I think 95% of creatives share, being regularly on the receiving end of their shite) have a look at the W&K 'welcome to optimism' blog and scroll down until you see the two Nathan Barleys (Barli?). Both planners: say no more.

  2. And if you're a Porn Star it's your fault because you went through with the money shot instead of pulling out, looking into the camera and saying "Take your hand off your dick and write some more ads you pathetic imbecile"

  3. maybe advertising is only part of the problem...

    maybe the products we are sold these days are intrinsically shit and pointless (do you really need a 5-bladed razor or electric toothbrush or crap gimmick on a car? is it really going to transform your life?), so it easier for the ads to stand out more than the products.

    but yeah, i've seen plenty of 'award-winning' ads which have just made me think 'the only point of that was some creative agency showing off - on someone else's budget!'

  4. When creatives are getting laid off left and right everywhere, agencies try to hold on to their clients at the cost of the quality they deliver, basically doing whatever the client wants and pleasing them with mediocrity. It's not just the shit agencies, but places like BBH, Abott Mead Vickers etc.....


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