I had a very enjoyable Xmas and New Year thanks for asking.
I switched off the Internet as much as possible and just hung out with my Wife, who hasn’t had the greatest of years with her Mum being ill on the other side of the world.
Plus a couple of pals and I started getting the Sydney launch of Good for Nothing together.
I also watched England get stuffed in The Ashes.
Then I got back to work, switched on the computer, checked my emails and read the usual advertising blogs and websites that mundanely listed the same 9 ½ things the industry needs to know, to be exactly like everyone else in 2014.
Then I thought about writing the usual New Year new me guff
What professional goals and commitments do I need to inspire me through my twelfth year working in advertising?
What is so exciting about the industry in 2014 that will keep me motivated (and writing on this blog)?
Unfortunately I was stumped. I really couldn’t think of much that blew my hair back.
Which on reflection is pretty much how I felt about the advertising industry last year.
So rather than rattle on about everything everybody already knows.
Such as how advertising is a homogenous and increasingly commoditised service – thanks to the over supply of agencies that all offer said homogenous and increasingly commoditised services. (I wonder why margins are shit?)
How there are hardly any agencies with an important point of view or positioning in the industry anymore.
How it’s still led by narcissistic, artsy bureaucrats or worse still – ‘Chief Financial Officers’
How it’s lost much of its integrity, soul and invention.
I’m not going to talk about those things, at least not in isolation.
I’m going to spend 2014 thinking, writing and doing something more important. Applying creativity and marketing to make better companies not better ads
Last year I was stuck by something that Michael Porter said in his quite brilliant piece about ‘Creating Shared Value’.
Essentially Governments don’t create wealth anymore, companies do.
Which is fine if it was genuine, positive wealth creation but it’s not, it’s corporate wealth creation at the expense of society and culture.
Now given that advertising is a $500bn industry that represents companies, society and culture, it makes sense we should be a little bit more critical and ambitious in how we apply our talents?
Ways that will undoubtedly test whether people are creative in an inventive sense or just an artistic one.
Should we just accept money makes the world go round and continue to make cool artsy shit rather than cool shit that actually matters?
Sorry if that’s a bit heavy for the New Year but I opt for the latter.