instinctive traveller's blog

Boredom in Advertising


I might be in the minority. I mean, you can hate advertising and still be in the business. But being bored and staying put?

Now this boredom creeps in when you move on to a well-demarcated medium – the online space. There isn’t much adventure here to begin with. And I believe it’s primarily because you can rectify your mistakes even as or even after you go live. Somehow that takes away something very vital to advertising. It takes away that big day feeling.

You’re somehow robbed of the delicious anticipation and the butterflies – what’s that term – butterflies in the stomach. You suddenly wonder if you made the right move at all.

Faking It And Not Lovin' It

Ever had to fake an ad? You know… like when you don’t exactly know whom you’re talking to or how you want them to respond? It’s hell, believe me. Because to begin with, you have to contend with half-wits who aren’t even from the advertising industry who go on spewing forth faux-expertise on communication. Hint: they could even be your colleagues. How spooky is that!

Mom! Dad! Someone! Why am I doing this?

And why are online advertising agencies treated like dirt?

Oh! I get it. It’s because they have troopers who can’t for the life of them understand the first thing about Target Audience and Desired Customer Response or how very important that is in the communication business. It’s because these troopers live in blissful ignorance, smothered by their own mediocrity.

Perhaps you could tell them that your Target Audience can’t for the love of God be ‘vaguely male’. Jesus! Who are we talking to? But then again you could give up and go dwell in the Himalayas and talk only to the Yeti.

Talking to the Yeti! Now why didn’t I think of that! That’s so much better than faking it.

Crap On Two Legs

You've perhaps met these animals before. They are rather arty-farty. They don't realize that they aren't competing with Monet or Rembrandt but rather with Raju Choplanki who is desperately trying to revive his once killer brand.

They don't understand that they're not the artists they think they are, trying to prove how clever they are with ideas. They don't understand that they are actually another breed of sales men trying to prove, and prove over again that they have envious sales acumen. They don't understand that the only difference is that they do it with written words and pictures when a sales man uses the spoken word.

So what do they do?

They walk around the agency dazed. They talk to themselves when they're sure they have an audience. They go to the nearest Copywriter or Visualiser and tell them their idea sucks, with put-on genius. Or pontificates rather knowledgeably about the benefits of not writing a headline at all. Never mind that Arty-Farty can't come up with a line that has enough appeal. (A-F can only write A-F and expect lesser mortals to either get it or retire to Mars). Never mind again that A-F can't for the life of him write body copy because he believes that no one reads body copy.

You can spot these animals a mile away. Don't duck.

Or maybe you should duck and find your own corner. Unless you know of a better way to be rid of A-F's.

Suckering Up

Imagine management suckering up to the ones down the ladder. Imagine giving out compensations and promotions not for talent or performance but for the sheer length of time you’ve been around the organization doing nothing but mediocre work. Imagine having attendance registers maintained not according to alphabetic order but according to seniority – in terms of number of years put in – again.

Now that’s another kind of suckering up isn’t it? Correct me if I am wrong.

Ivan, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to blog in here. Now this post is my way of testing the waters, so to speak. (I heard you groan…) But then someone must also speak about the industry we are in. Granted that there are blogs that do the ranting and raving bit. But shouldn’t you have one on AtoW as well?

Or am I trouble with a capital T?