I’ve been having a lot of advertising-related conversations recently. Here are some thoughts that keep popping up:
1. There will always be a market for somebody who can sell your stuff better than you can. Advertising 2.0 does not exist. Marketing 2.0 does not exist. Whatever new tech and media comes along, this simple truth remains.
2. It takes at least nine months to conceive and launch a full-on, mainstream Madison Avenue ad campaign. Nine months is a long time, if you ask me. The world changes faster than that. No wonder Madison Avenue is so damn unhappy all the time.
3. I find both Saatchi’s “Lovemarks” and its sequel, “The Lovemarks Effect” [links here] utterly unreadable. Together they form a shallow and vapid tragicomedy, of sorts. Which is a pity, because on another level I quite agree with Saatchi CEO, Kevin Roberts central Lovemarks thesis, i.e. that_Love_is_what_drives_our_new_marketing_realities._And_he_obviously_an_extremely_smart_and_capable_guy._But_what_started_out_as_a_great_idea_from_a_lone_individual_has_been_utterly_butchered_by_the_grim_realities_of_his_employer’s_already-existing_business_model.
4. Have you also noticed how on the cover of “The Love Marks Effect”, there’s a picture of all these small metal cookie cutters, shaped like love hearts? What are you saying, Guys? “Cookie Cutter Love”? I know. Unfortunate. Sad. Comic. All that.
5. Saatchi & Saatchi: “We’re not an ad agency, we’re an ideas business.” Right. Oh well, I’m sure they’re trying to get there one day. Maybe they’ll succeed. Who knows.
6. So a lot of clients have been recently asking their ad agencies, “So what can you do for us in Web 2.0?” And the agencies have been replying, “Lots! Lots and lots and lots and lots!” Bullshit. Ad agencies have so far been hopeless in this space. I don’t know of ONE SINGLE piece of work coming out of a traditional ad agency in the last five years that has been even halfway original, thought provoking or effective. Captain Morgan’s? Beyond lame. Juicy Fruit? Beyond lame on steroids. Glenfiddich? A missed opportunity.
7. Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the very fine London ad agency, used to pitch their clients, “We makes brands famous”. Right. Like movie stars. Like celebs. Like the guys getting out of the limos and walking down the red carpet. Like the ones who get all the money and invites to the fancy parties. While the rest of us stand behind the velvet rope out in the cold, looking in with longing. Great. Super. Lucky us.
8. I am totally with Mark Earls, who in his seminal book, “Death of Marketing”, wrote, to paraphrase: The word “Brand” is a very silly one. It’s pretty meaningless. Instead, ask yourself what your enterprise is actually for. Define yourself in terms of an actual “Purpose-Idea” [I love that term, which he coined btw], instead of an abstract object. Think verb, instead of noun.
9. The good news for Google Adsense is, it seems to work. Or at least, it seems to do what it says it does. The bad news is, if it’s the only game in town, its monopoly on a certain type of advertising [the type that requires relatively little thought, basically] means with so many people joining the throng with nowhere else to go, Hello, obscene price rises etc.
10. Live by SEO, die by SEO.
11. I’ve never flown on Jet Blue, I’ve never seen a Jet Blue commercial, I’ve never been on their website. But I know all about Jet Blue, and think highly of it. Why? Because bloggers I know are always talking about it. This is exactly what Seth Godin means by “remarkable” i.e. People. Like. Talking. About. It. If you happen to have a unremarkable product, I suppose you have no choice but to do a remarkable ad campaign, like Crispin Porter’s “Burger King” campaign. That is, if your boss or client will let you. Which is unlikely.
12. If somebody looks like they’re trying to impress you with their “future of advertising” credentials, ask them if they they themselves have their own blog. If they don’t, they’re full of it. It’s a good acid test. Just my opinion.