Creative Pollution

When you go to an art gallery, you often see something strange.
You don’t know what to make of it.
Maybe a pile of bricks on the floor.
Maybe a canvas just painted blue.
So you get out the brochure and read what it’s supposed to mean.
Or sometimes there’s even a paragraph printed on the wall next to it.
Telling you what to think about the piece of art.
Because the art itself doesn’t tell you.
It’s inscrutable.
You’re supposed to struggle with it.
That’s art.
That’s not what we do.
We don’t do art like that.
Not art like crossword clues that have to be worked out.
What we do has to be self contained and instant.
No one wants to spend time thinking about advertising.
No one goes to an art gallery to look at an exhibition of ads.
No one switches on the TV, laptop, or the radio to browse an omnibus edition of advertising.
No one buys the magazine or newspaper to peruse the ads.
No one walks down the street looking for the posters.
They’re not looking for our ads.
We are something they pass on the way to do something else.
What we do is intrusive.
Or it doesn’t work.
Which is why 90% of advertising doesn’t work.
They assume they have a captive audience.
They assume people are waiting breathlessly to discover what they’re about to bestow on an eagerly waiting public.
Like a movie or an art gallery.
But in fact, it’s exactly the opposite.
To paraphrase John Lennon, “Ads is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.”