Who are we kidding?

4 Oct

In advertising, we like to think that what we do matters. That people take note of our creative oeuvre and rush, cash in hand to the outlets that supply the products and services which we are peddling. Because consumers are not like us. They behave differently. They are easily persuaded, like a giant, amorphous mob whose desire to spend is matched only by their towering gullibility.

And because I am an ad man (and not a member of the public) I have never clicked on a web banner. I have also never clicked on a  QR code. I ‘like’ brands on Facebook for irony’s sake, to make my friends chuckle. I have never followed a brand on Twitter. I have almost never gone to a brand’s website, unless I’m trying to find an address or phone number which I can use to ‘give them Hell’.

In the old days of direct response TV and radio – you know, the ones where the phone number was repeated at least three times in each commercial – I never wrote that number down. And because I am not an ordinary member of the public, I talk about ‘that car ad, that beer ad, that soap powder ad’ because often, I can’t remember which brand just spent a million trying (and failing) to get me to remember them. The public, however, sit by the TV, pen and paper in hand to make notes on any stuff they see in the commercial breaks which might enrich their lives.

It’s great that the public are so open to these wonderful new means of persuasion, because that means we can tell our clients that they need to be on board with all this stuff, and we can charge them for our expertise.

Right, I’m off to write a banner ad.

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