Branding the Branding Industry…

I’ve got an Adidas one on my left buttock. Picture via MLeak. Usual rules, etc.

Or ‘why Get Smashed should be a reminder to have fun’.

You’d have thought, with all of the branding we do for clients, and how we state that keeping their identity and touch points is so important, we’d be a little better at taking our own advice.

With the endless pontification and navel gazing on the internet, I fear it’s gotten worse. I mean, yesterday’s shit storm about the new Cadbury’s ad is case in point. The amount of people being terrified about the implications of their jobs, whether the planning function is defunct – is absolutely astounding.

I view it as a bit of a special case, as I’ve said before – a one off; it works because of the context, the media spend (very very clever), the fact that Cadbury’s is like oxygen to chocolate lovers, and that it’s undisputably number one in its marketplace.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand. Honestly, I don’t think I know another industry that’s so bloody frightened of its own shadow. We make ads, we try and make people buy things/do good/influence behaviour. Nothing more. We sometimes act as if we believe we’re Clarkson, Piers Morgan and Adolf Hitler rolled into one, and we’re very very sorry about everything we’ve done, past present and future.

Just stop it, please. Because, if you don’t, things like this press conference will start to impinge, and we’ll be left with a throughly sterile and boring industry, clamped down by the powers that be.

And, in a worst case scenario, this self-loathing seems to descend to everything; older members of staff wishing they were still in the 80’s or 90’s, junior staff with no real opinions of their own, fighting to please people at the expense of their own mental state/health.

I think a large part of the problem stems from the fear of being seen as an empty, pointless industry – and God knows, whenever cameras are rolling, it usually appears so. Raymond Chandler’s words resound: “Chess is a elaborate a waste of human intelligence as you can find outside an advertising agency”.

Why can’t we celebrate the nonsense, and focus on what we’re good at – helping to build businesses, brands and institutions. None of this self-reflective, ultimately destructive bollocks.

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