Ad Pros Advocate More Industry Creativity
With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Advertising Week got off on a somber note Monday morning with a memorial service for advertising, which died this month at the age of 148.
The service featured the highly talented Madison Avenue Gospel Chorus, which sang some of the industry’s most memorable jingles, including the “Meow Mix” song (words very easy: “Meow” repeated about 110 times); Dr. Pepper’s “Wouldn’t You Want To Be a Pepper Too?” and Oscar Mayer’s “I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Weiner.”
The service was closed casket until the end, when it was opened and (surprise!) nothing was there and advertising wasn’t dead after all.
But some well-known industry pros urged advertising to change its ways or it could kick the bucket.
Cindy Gallop, formerly of BBH and now CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld, said the industry has “tricked, bribed, blackmailed and cajoled” viewers into watching ads for far too long. Instead, the industry should try a little creativity -- and viewers might enjoy watching.
The industry “has failed to see the old top-down model is broken," she added. In its place, she advocated a “bottom-up, collective people model,” that would enable “creatively re-inventing the future together.”
Charlotte Beers, former CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, asserted that the industry could use a few more females in top leadership roles. More generally, she added, the industry needs to use all the creative tools at its disposal to “explain, inspire and magnify” until the audience responds: “I never thought of that way before.”
Gerry Graf, founder and chief creative officer of Barton F. Graf 9000, opined that nothing can kill advertising, as he likened its core medium to an “undead TV vampire zombie. Maybe DVRs can skip ads, but try bypassing the pre-roll,” on your favorite show online," he said. “You can’t.”