In World war One, the British invented the tank.

And they used it to beat the Germans.

In 1940 the Germans developed a better tank.

And they used it to beat the British.

Then the Russians designed a better tank.

And they used it to beat the Germans.

When the tank came out, it was a new app, in our terms a new medium.

And it made the cavalry obsolete.

But what it didn’t make obsolete was the need to out think the competition.

The need to be creative and original.

The need for surprise.

And here’s another surprise, that’s what we do.

Whether it’s advertising or social-media.

From Tintoretto to Twitter, that hasn’t changed.

It can’t.

If you want to be in that 10% that works, you have to out think the 90% that doesn’t.

Sorry that’s the bad news.

All the people who were hoping that jumping on the new media bandwagon was going to do the work for them.

Sorry, no.

You still have to think.

And spouting jargon isn’t the same as thinking.

See, I’m not a spokesman for advertising.

In fact I couldn’t care less about advertising.

Most of it doesn’t work anyway.

Don’t take my word for it, look at the numbers.

In 2005, £18.3 Billion was spent on all forms of advertising and marketing.

4% was remembered positively.

7% was remembered negatively.

89% wasn’t even noticed or remembered.

So, provably, about 90% of advertising is a waste of money.

What I’m interested in is the other 10%.

But that isn’t advertising.

That’s creative people out-thinking non-creative people.

Being smart, being innovative, being daring, taking unfair advantage.

I love that thinking wherever you find it.

Sport, business, military, design, film and yes, sometimes even advertising.

Why would anyone who’s interested in creativity spend their time defending something that is 90% non-creative?

Scorcese and Spielberg don’t defend film, they defend great films.

Steve Jobs doesn’t defend computers, he defends his vision of technology.

John Lennon didn’t defend music, he defended rock and roll.

Wenger and Ferguson aren’t spokesmen for football.

They are spokesmen for the sort of football they like their teams to play.

That’s what surprises me about the debate between the new media gurus and advertising.

On the new-media side advertising is dead and the whole world is about conversations, and social media, and tribes, and whatever the latest jargon is.

On the advertising side the numbers show that advertising is still alive and people are watching more TV than ever before.

So what.

The issue is still what the issue always was.

Good is good and crap is crap.

It’s not my job to defend the rest of advertising.

It’s my job to beat the rest of advertising.

Whatever media you’re in new-media or traditional, you will have way less than 1% share of voice.

However much you’re spending.

What good is 1% to anyone?

You may as well keep your money in your trouser pocket.

The issue is what the issue always has been.

How do you generate that 1% share of voice into a 50% share of mind?

But that’s always been the issue for creative people in whatever area they operate.

That was the issue for Caravaggio, for Picasso, For Erwin Rommel, for Elvis, for Orson Wells, for Charlie Saatchi, for Richard Branson.

So why do we spend all our time worrying about advertising versus new media?

We’re not in either of those games.

Not if we’re any good.

We’re in creativity.

We’re in the game of out thinking other people.

Or we’re in the 90% that doesn’t work.