LEON JACOBS

Old fashioned TV

Added on by Leon Jacobs.

An ex-colleague from TBWA days tweeted a link

There is something about the old fashioned advertising that I love and to me says far more than the flashy clever over engineered ads of today. I know that we all look at things with a nostalgia, and view history as quaint but it is actually more than that, I feel I can trust old advert. It was almost impossible to try and dazzle you with technology and to turn a simple message into a something that bedazzles you into not seeing the product but just the work of the ad agency, clearly you still have to have at the end of it remember what the product was, otherwise it would be a total failure as an ad, but without reading small print and understanding jargon, the truth is hard to find. The message of above is simple, beautiful people drink Coca-cola that cost 5cents a glass, simple. To make the same point think of all the ads that Coca-cola has made in your lifetime, each getting bigger, more sparkled and more glittered by the ad.
Ads are no longer about selling a product, they have become a platform for advertising the entire, company, the ad agency and the geniuses of the writers, producers, the camera crew and so on and so on. Somewhere over the years the point of ads has become lost. Somewhere over the years the challenge has become to be funny, or shocking, or to dazzle. That somewhere to me seems to have been when they invented awards for all these things, rather an awards for simply selling more product than the one before. Millions each year a spent on beguiling people and tricking them into transferring the love for the ad to the love of the product, products should be loved because they are good, they do what they say they will and they are affordable. I can say with total honesty I have never bought anything just because of an ad, I have never had an urge to try something, or change from what I normally buy, mind you I don't know when I last actually looked at an ad, I just cut off when they start and tune back in when they end. My ad watching these days is limited to when an ad is brought my attention, when years ago I did watch, I did think about what they said and I might have been swayed. Maybe advertisers should take a step back and look at what they are doing and why.

I have re-read these words five times.

They feel so raw and honest.

People learned to hate advertising because it was boring, stupid, repetitive and annoying. In the 90s, at TBWA, we had a simple rule: The advertising should be more entertaining than the programming it interrupts.

We did alright.

But 99.99% of agencies don't have rules like these. Especially now. They just focus on making rubbish that can survive rounds of excruciating research and tick boxes and eventually they just annoy people.

So most people dislike TV as a whole. In the past, normal people would pay to queue up and sit down in a cinema and watch the winners of that year's Cannes Festival of advertising. Imagine that. People paying to watch advertising. Yeah. Read that again.

I recently saw a reel of new director's work here in Europe. Of the reel, there were two thirty second spots. Funny, charming and lovely. And the crowd I was in cheered and clapped. But most of it was experimental, music videos, rubbish. The crowd was dumbfounded.

I know I am starting to sound like an old fart. But I miss the days of a great 30 second spot. The art of crafting a simple story that would be entertaining enough that people would pay to watch it.

If we still did that, this person's blog post wouldn't exist.