Monday, February 11, 2008
Have we become assholes?
People love to be part of tribes. The advertising community is not different. We have the traditional tribes, the digital tribes, the Web 2.0 tribes and and and.
In the last few months I've seen a lot of blog posts, heard many podcasts and overheard conversations where the Social Media/Web 2.0 guys sounded like arrogant hypocrites: The big agencies don't get digital, everything is about the 30 second spot, they're just trying to hold on to their riches. Traditional folks have become enemies. Outdated jokes we look down upon.
And, the digital guys are the Rambo's and Rocky's of the new era. We know the answer to everything, we know where the game is going, we know the future. In short: the traditional folks sit in dark-wooded bars sipping on their three martini lunches while we sip on organic fruit elixirs changing the world one pixel at a time.
By talking and acting like this, we have become the enemy. We act like arrogant 'know-it-alls' , stopped listening to the traditional folks and, basically, turned into the people we warned others about.
In the end, we need to understand that the advertising world is a community. Sure, there will be differences, discussions, fights, politics. And we will continue to see things from our point of view and will continue to struggle accepting the 'traditional' point of view. But we have to make this a productive process, not a destruction path that goes nowhere.
The advertising community has many problems: limited attention of people, dramatically changing media usage, overwhelming amount of channels - you know the drill. That's our real enemy (if you want to call it that), not the other side of the advertising community. High School attitudes and cliques won't get us any further in tackling this enemy.
Ultimately, we should take our own advice of listen and learn to the advertising community. It's not about who's right. It's about doing the right thing in this new marketing reality. At this moment, all of us are one eyed kings and queens. Let's work together to get the whole picture.