10 Myths About Modern Advertising

One of the best pieces of advice we can give to students who want to work in advertising is beware, be very aware of opinion that is masquerading as fact.

Right now, there's no shortage of deluded, militant evangelism polluting the business by proclaiming some kind of new world order where everything has changed.

There's also an alarming lack of common sense and, in Dave Trott's words, street smarts in agencies who seem obsessed by the ridiculous bubble of adland and less interested in how people actually behave in the world.

In particular, there are many prevalent schools of thought dedicated to propagating nonsense as if fashionable, zeitgeist thinking is some kind of law that must be obeyed. There are many "how to" conferences devoted to revealing the secrets of modern marketing so these theories can be followed and translated into action.

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list of modern advertising myths. It's just a starter for ten of the ones that we think are getting in the way of great, commercially successful advertising being produced.

We can sometimes feel like voices in the wilderness and I imagine that challenging the ten points below will sound like heresy to many agencies, clients and prominent industry commentators.

But, fuck 'em. It's about time the record was set straight.

1. Brands are more important than products.

2. Most people really do give a shit and actively want to have relationships with brands.

3. Collaboration leads to better creative work.

4. TV is dead.

5. A bigger logo means better branding.

6. The "interruption" model of advertising is no longer effective. It's all about engagement, innit.

7. Featuring great looking people from central casting will make your audience more favourably disposed to buying your product.

8. Creativity can come from anywhere.

9. Putting a call to action on your advertising means people will be likelier to act on it.

10. Advertising, these days, is ultimately not about selling.

1 comment:

  1. I'll give you some more, free of charge:

    11. If you want to work in advertising, you need a degree and/or do an ad course.

    12. Big brands (i.e. coca cola) is where the opportunities are to do some good work.

    13. If you work in advertising, you can dress like a hobo.

    14. Creatives do it for the work (not the money) so it's okay to pay them peanuts.

    15. Planning is the cornerstone of a good ad.

    16. You can't work without a computer anymore.

    17. Open plan offices encourage a more creative environment.

    18. If you've got a good idea, we'll sell it to the client.

    19. As an art director, you have to at least play one instrument, direct short movies and enter them into cannes, paint and sculpt in your free time, and have at least one arm full with tattoos. As a copywriter, you need to have at least one short story published and be currently working on your 2000 page novel about existentialism in the communist era of the soviet union.

    20. You can be honest and tell us what you think about the work/product/brief.

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