I share a lot of articles and links on Twitter about the advertising industry. We use that term as if it’s like the Republican party, a union or a single entity. Some centralized authority that provides rules and we all need to comply.
I read things like: “When will advertising adjust to the changing demands of consumers?”
“Is advertising dead?”
“Advertising is in deep trouble”
“The resurgence of advertising.”
It makes no sense.
I’ve been working in advertising for more than 15 years, been to Cannes, award shows all over the world, worked with many agencies. Still, I never encountered a club called “Advertising”.
I never had to pay dues and follow any rules.
The ‘advertising industry’ doesn’t meet in some dark meeting rooms, deciding what’s best for everyone.
Nobody in the ‘advertising industry’ ever signed up for that. Nobody agreed on that charter. Actually, I don’t even know the ‘advertising industry’ even exists.
When I joined the advertising world, my goal was to create the best work possible. Trying to do better work than any other agency/brand.
Why would I care about the ‘advertising industry’?
My goal was to kill competitors. Making sure people look at my work.
While I have many friend at other agencies/brands, they are still my competitors. Would you aks Billy Corgan to be a spokeperson for music? Why would he care about music? He cares about his music. He cares about being the best at his craft.
The truth is, as advertisers we’re even worse off. We don’t just compete with other bands/DJ’s. We compete with the world.
We compete with everything that can take away attention from people.
We should never assume there’s an advertising industry.
There’s no print industry. No email industry. No TV industry. There’s a huge difference between what we do and the rest of the world does.
Nobody pays us to see what we do. Other industries have that privilege. We have to find ways for people to pay attention.
People pay to see the Smashing Pumpkins. Nobody pays to see our product. There’s a music industry because people pay to listen to music, attend concerts. There’s no advertising industry because nobody is in the market to buy our product.
Our job is to get seen, liked, and remembered, even though no one wants what we do.
And, we get seen, liked, and remembered because we’re great at what we do. We do fun stuff, something to pay attention to.
We do our best work because we’re not part of an illusory advertising industry.
The best advertising is a loner, trying to make it by itself.
That’s the advertising that works.