No one cares about your ads.

The fact you should care about most.

When it comes to advertising, ‘I do not give a shit' is the default position of every human being on the face of the Earth.

So it’s absolutely crucial that both agency and client start from this same position on every single brief. (Unfortunately, as I’m sure everyone reading this will quietly agree, this isn’t always the case.)

I’ve met plenty of marketers that live in a world where the entire universe seems to revolve around their product. A magical land where the postman and barista live and breathe their favourite car rental brand. Where the nail technician craves engaging experiences with tomato sauce, and the tradies working next door are just dying to ‘learn more’ about a new 2-in-1 shampoo & conditioner.

Equally so, in agency land, you see ideas cleaning up awards that no one in the real world has ever heard of, a dozen agencies winning ‘Agency of the Year’ in different publications/shows, and case studies trying to claim world altering results for an Instagram post about greek yoghurt.

No one gives a shit about any of this and it does the work no service.

People don’t sit around at home being paid $100 and a can of coke to watch your ad 15 times, and then spend an hour talking about it. Nor do they sit in meetings for 2 months as a committee analysing every single detail of a billboard. This is just a terrible way to judge work. Our ads flash past people for a few seconds and from there must earn the right to be worthy of any more attention. Expecting people to be automatically enamoured is disrespectful to their intelligence.

Advertising is stuff that no one cares about interrupting what they do. Regardless of what acronym makes up your title, client or agency side, it’s time to stop putting more effort into pretending people care and start making them actually care. Because that’s the job. I know it’s a lot easier the other way, but this isn’t an easy job, and if it’s an easy job you want then maybe you’re in the wrong one.

Beyond the simple notion of living in reality, I truly believe this is a far better place to operate from. Complacency has never preceded brilliance. Beginning your journey from a point of irrelevance is fuel for the fire. It’s like living with a permanent point to prove. A never-ending chip on your shoulder. It drives you harder to do great work that demands attention and respects people for giving it.

This is the great challenge of what we do. It’s what makes us brilliant if we actually manage to achieve it. Don’t seek comfort in pretending that everything you produce is worth looking at, instead revel in the task of making people stop in their tracks and take notice.

We are not important. What we do is not important. Our brand is not important. Nor are our products. But, they can be. If we put all of our collective intelligence, ambition, and creativity, into making people truly care about what we do, we can ACTUALLY put a dent in the world.

But only as soon as we acknowledge that we’re currently not.

Because no one wakes up and starts their day giving a shit about advertising until we make them.

And we should never forget it.


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