The Extremist Art of Not Being Extreme

There are a lot of absolute arguments in advertising. Is the best advertising emotional or rational?  Should advertising be entertainment or utility? Brand or product?

Some of these are sometimes interesting debates (notice the deliberate double qualification).

What drives me bananas though, is the insistence that all advertising is best done one way. The very idea that all advertising should be emotional is just as stupid as the notion that all advertising should be rational.

The idea that all advertising should be led by brand is equally stupid as the idea that all advertising should be led by product.

It seems people in advertising are incapable of recognising that all problems, products, markets and situations are different. They seem convinced that there has to be one answer that fits all. It's utterly bonkers.

Because you had success with one problem by solving it in a certain way is no guarantee that the same approach will be suited to the next problem.

Just because a brilliant ad used a moving, emotional approach, does not mean that a moving, emotional approach is correct for the brief in front of you now.

This extremist approach to thinking seems to be all-pervading. I wonder why?

Is it because agencies and ad people feel the next to be extreme about a point of view so that they can shout it from the rafters? To differentiate themselves?

After all, almost all agencies claim to have some proprietary point-of-view or approach that makes their work better than the next guy.

But surely that can't be the case if every new problem demands a different approach, can it?

Largely those claims are pure bullshit - they're just there to mask the fact that the real secret to producing great advertising is great people - as if their best people could leave, and the next best people would produce equally good work by working within the system or philosophy. Utter deluded horse shit.

So the wail of the people arguing from the extreme continues; "THIS is the best way to approach advertising" "No, THIS is".

Being extreme about your approach has become very much the status quo.

It's actually the extremist view to say that things actually might be different from problem to problem.


1 comment:

  1. The best way to approach advertising is to reinvent the wheel with every brief that lands on your desk.


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