March 28, 2012

The Golden Age Of Advertising.

Monday I posted a piece called Opinions About Everything, Knowledge About Nothing.

It was about the shockingly low level of knowledge that many ad people have regarding the facts of life in our business today.

One of the most troubling aspects of our business is not just the absence of knowledge about contemporary advertising but also about the history of our business.

It would be unthinkable for a lawyer not have knowledge of the Magna Carta or the Code of Hammurabi, or for a doctor not to know about Hippocrates. Some of this history is thousands of years old.

But it is quite possible for today's advertising practitioners to know nothing about advertising 30 years ago.

This is in part responsible for the astonishing lack of perspective one can find in much of the contemporary writing about advertising.

Which leads me to a particularly appalling piece of drivel I found in Fast Company last week. Over the years, Fast Company has been one of the leading sources of nonsense about advertising. It's nice to see they haven't lost their touch.

The piece I am referring to is entitled Forget "Mad Men"--Now Is The Golden Era For Advertising. This piece of clueless hokum has the alarming gall to suggest that "We are living in the golden era right now..."

Of course, this baloney is written by a social media expert so what can you expect? In the course of writing this pap, the guy drags out every cliche in the new age marketing handbook:
"We are witnessing a complete social transformation..."
Really? A complete social transformation? Funny, I haven't witnessed that. Seems to me people still go shopping, and drive cars, and live in houses, and go to work, and eat pizza, and watch football. Just shows you how out of it I am.
"Today, consumers are in control..."
It's not like the evil past when WE were in control and stupid, passive consumers would mindlessly do everything we told them to do, like drive Edsels and fly TED airlines. Gosh I miss those days when we were in control.
"...intrusive advertising and brand messages simply no longer works."
Yeah, right. Better tell that to Apple and McDonald's and Toyota and Coke and Budweiser and Southwest and Geico and...
"In the post-digital age, everyone’s roles are blurred..."
Are we in the post-digital age already? What the fuck happened to the digital age? I was just starting to get used to it.
"At Tribal DDB, every member of our team is creative and we believe a good idea can come from anywhere..."
Well, aren't you special! Gosh, if only we could ALL be creative, like you. Wait a minute... we ARE all creative. What a wonderful world!

I can't go on. The rest of the article is such a festival of worn-out cliches and infantile prattle that it drains me just to read it.

The golden age of advertising? This piece is a monument to what this era really is -- the golden age of bullshit.

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