What Ad Agencies can learn from AC/DC..

Angus doing what he does best. Picture via T-Klick. Usual rules..

I’ve been listening to an awful lot of three chord music recently (no, no Status Quo, happily). And it seems to me that there’s a parallel there with the swirling, ever changing advertising world.

Namely, that very simple songs can seem infinitely more complicated than they are, and if people over analyse them, it’s usually a bit of a mistake. Indeed, one of planning’s cardinal sins is to buy into the overcomplication, to not put its foot down when people are taking part in flights of fancy (does any FMCG need bloody twitter, eh?).

And I know that there have never ever been more terms to describe things than there are now. Hell, just take planning. Am I a creative planner, a strategic planner, a comms planner? God knows.

I sometimes wonder, with this increasing vocabulary, whether we try too hard to see things that aren’t there; after all, I’m a firm believer that the simpler the communication message, or the more natural the use of technology, the better the results – look at the Sainsbury’s with ‘Try Something New Today’ and Tesco’s Clubcard implementation for proof of this.

And it’s one of my tenets, which might not be massively fashionable – I think advertising is essentially simple. People don’t really change much; we all lust after the same basic things, we all want to be entertained, and advertising is all about working out how products fit into this mix (that’s the more complex bit).

I’ll leave you with this from Wikipedia, something Angus Young said when he was asked why AC/DC’s music was so simplistic:

“It’s just rock and roll. A lot of times we get criticised for it. A lot of music papers come out with: ‘When are they going to stop playing these three chords?’ If you believe you shouldn’t play just three chords it’s pretty silly on their part. To us, the simpler a song is, the better, ’cause it’s more in line with what the person on the street is.”

Sound familar?

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