I thought it appropriate to write my first blog post justifying the reason for its existence, this being the sheer beauty and ecstasy of advertising.
Whilst at lunch with a friend and fellow adman recently, we wandered off the topic of the brief which we had been discussing and began playfully arguing over the fundamentals of our day-to-day job as London advertisers. This took an entertaining but insightful turn as my colleague nonchalantly described our role as “the whores of the business world”…with pizza half chomped in my mouth and eyes staring inquisitively into the distance I ask him to elaborate. His reply was the impetus for this post.
“…we waft seductive scents into the nostrils of our clients to make them horny for our commodity; we bath them in smiles, laughs and alcohol and promise them dreams of fame and euphoria… all for a price, a simple monetary value”.
Whilst this analogy exaggerates elements of the industry and puts a negative, if quite humorous slant on it, I believe there is something of value in there.
When we talk about commodities we think of the towering buildings hunkered together in that famous square mile of London, with hordes of generic pinstripes trading sugar, oil and other tangible goods. But my colleague had struck on something, for me the most attractive element of advertising is the fact that our commodity is intangible, our commodity, is ideas.
Advertisers trade in emotions, deal in persuasion, the core of the job is creating cognitive sparks. Whilst this may be seen as the devious manufacturing of desires, I argue that it is actually the existing human act of seduction, advertising is merely the professional version.