Advertising Is Dead and I Don’t Care
Wait — don’t go anywhere just yet. This isn’t going to be yet another article about the death of advertising, which, if you were to believe the pundits (and good lord, why on earth would you do that?) has steadily been dying for the last decade.
Fast Company published yet another article on the end of advertising, and while it made some good points in addressing technology’s disruptive role in advertising and marketing, it sparked the same debate and vitriol the industry has been spouting in the war to define the future of advertising.
Personally, I just don’t care about that debate — and I’m in advertising — it’s the wrong conversation. The future of advertising is not talking about the future of advertising. I care less about the endless debate over platforms, mediums, channels or how many degrees of 360 your campaign touches. I care more about simply doing good work that gets results.
When Steve Jobs passed on the reigns of Apple to Tim Cook, his only advice was to, ‘do what’s right.’
It’s easy to overcomplicate the business world. We love to feed our egos with buzzwords, weighty PowerPoint decks and general douche-baggery of the latest digital toy.
But it’s much simpler than we make it out to be.
:: Know your product.
:: Know your customers.
:: Know how to serve them.
Yes, the technology landscape is charging like a tsunami with little regard for the businesses currently standing in its path. We’ve already seen yesterday’s untouchables fall hard and fast — Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders — each replaced by a company thinking about how to create a better product that understands how to better serve their customers and tells an engaging story that captivates them.
But in the midst of these changes, the foundational question is — do you see a problem, or an opportunity?
Advertisers should worry less about the supposed death of the sixty-second spot, and focus more on bringing their creativity to help clients identify how their brand doesn’t become the next Blackberry. Smart brands like Nike, Red Bull and Burberry are only going to continue launching world-class digital experiences and services, and agencies have a huge opportunity to identify, shape and build those experiences.
This is an immense challenge. But it begins with understanding your product, knowing your customers and zealously striving to deliver an experience for them keeps your focus where it should be — just doing what is right.