I was reading a story the other day about next year’s upfront when I came across these quotes from some senior people on the publishing side of the business: ”a culmination of two years of commitment, collaboration and innovation… to make superlative advertising solutions available in market today, alongside premium content that matters to audiences globally.”
And: "We are at a pivotal moment in time in the advertising industry. We aim to not just make advertising better, but completely reinvent it.”
There is a lot to unpack here (I swore I would never write that, but there it is), so let’s get started.
a culmination of two years of commitment, collaboration and innovation
Every day people in advertising renew their commitment by just showing up for work. To say that you have been committed to something seems to me pretty redundant.
I am committed to everything I do. OK, sometimes I skip spinning class, but I am still committed to it. To brag that you have been committed to something is I guess a way to underscore your earnestness, but really, weren’t you just showing up for work?
Very little work gets done in advertising without collaboration. Might just be within your department or between divisions or in this case, sister companies. Emphasizing your collaboration to me is simply another way of saying, “We had to straighten out those bozos from time to time, but they finally fell in line.”
Virtually everything done in our business is hailed as an innovation. The fact is, very little is truly innovative, but rather derivations of a past practice or system.
To be innovative, it has to be new. It may be new to your offering, but I see very little that has not been tried before. Besides, most buyers I know don’t want to road-test an “innovation,” they want to wait until it shows it really works.
to make superlative advertising solutions available in market today
The American Heritage Dictionary says for something to be superlative, it must be “of the highest order, quality, or degree; surpassing or superior to all others.”
Unless you have figured out how to roll video ads on the inside of a target audience’s eyelids, I suspect that what you plan to offer will not “surpass” or be “superior to all others.” By the way, calling something a “solution” is such a cliché that it ought to be struck from the vocabulary of everyone in the ad business.
Finally, there are already lots of great “solutions” “available in the market today.” Yours will just be one more headache for buyers to have to figure out.
alongside premium content that matters to audiences globally
In nearly 50 years in the publishing business, I have never once heard of content that is not preceded by the word “premium.” As a result, this word has also lost all meaning and is just more unnecessary, hyperbolic gilding of the lily.
By the way, hardly anyone wants to buy a global audience — especially if its members don’t speak English. Just a thought.
"We are at a pivotal moment in time in the advertising industry. We aim to not just make advertising better, but completely reinvent it.”
Every moment in time in the advertising industry is pivotal for somebody somewhere. So, like “disruptive,” that word has lost all meaning. I know you are trying to create urgency and importance, but you just sound like a sales trainee overstating the obvious to sound more important.
No matter how hard you try and how smart your folks are, it is almost entirely certain that you do not have the means to completely reinvent advertising (or even make it better). Add to this the arrogance of suggesting that how it works now is broken and in need of reinvention, and you have just insulted your intended audience.
At any rate, I cannot wait for the upfront. Clearly you will change the ad world in ways we have never seen. Your new mousetrap will be a landmark in the never-ending effort to get the right ad to the right person at the right time. There will be riots in the streets outside your office, with buyers pummeling one another to get through your door.
Sorry, was I overstating something?