Monday, March 16, 2009

The Ubiquitous Persuaders

I already mentioned George Parker's ( book in an older post, but I felt like it deserved its own. The Ubiquitous Persuaders covers the less appealing truths of today's advertising industry.

Here is an excerpt from the forward by Jeff Goodby:

Yeah, George is a little controversial. He is, after all, the man who regularly refers to Martin Sorrell, probably the most powerful guy in advertising, as the “Poisoned Dwarf.” He calls out big international clients in unflattering terms that often involve genitalia or bottom-feeding fish. Dumbing down is treating people like less intelligent sheep to be manipulated. It presumes they won’t notice ham-fisted logic, irritating repetition, or the vulgar appropriation of culture and symbols dear to them. It blithely assumes that they don’t know the difference between funny enough and truly funny, between beautiful enough and truly beautiful.

Ninety-nine per cent of advertising has always been about dumbing down. Advertising people, in fact, are unrepentant about this, even proud of it. People like David Ogilvy himself were fond of saying that advertising is, after all, not art. A creative director I worked with in the seventies was fond of putting down people who loathed one of his commercials by saying, “Yeah, but you noticed it.” There is a big hairy redemptive animal coming for such Luddites and its called the Internet. Suddenly, people are developing the freedom to do away with insulting ads, even before they’re exposed to them. Suddenly, more and more advertising people are being forced to wonder whether their messages are truly welcome.


No comments: