You’re wrong, Jeff Goodby

(Image from Campaign Brief Asia)

Sorry, Mr. Jeff Goodby, co-chairman and creative director of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, but you’re wrong.

In a recent  article in Advertising Age, you condemned the awards culture in advertising. You said that it “rewards work that is increasingly unknown to anyone outside the business.”

You labeled people who subscribe to the awards culture as connoisseurs of esoterica.

And in the process, you said, we’re becoming more about us, and less about changing the world.

Hate to break it to ya, Jeff, but scam ads aside, you’re wrong.

Because, if you’re labeling the awards culture the fringe, then you’re also admitting that it is part of the long tail.

Today’s culture accommodates esoterica. And the Internet is its curator.

If there is an audience for anything on the Internet, then there is an audience for award-winning work, outside of advertising. And you can find them at places like Twitter, YouTube and of course, FFFFOUND!

You’ll find people who appreciate clever advertising anywhere. In music forums, on typography blogs and even good old fashion MSN. In fact, the probability of finding award-winning ads on the Internet is now more than ever since our industry discovered the wonderful world of viral marketing.

(And of course, there’s Google)

So, with all due respect, sir, you’re totally missing the point: Awards are not killing the industry. Scam work, probably.

But not awards, because now is the time for really creative work to not only shine but also, to be found.

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1 Comment

Filed under Advertising, Art, Awards, Content, Cool, Ideas, Trends, Web

One response to “You’re wrong, Jeff Goodby

  1. Jeff Goodby

    This is a good and fair commentary. One of the best I’ve seen. I’m not that comfortable with the headline, but I’m getting used to it.

    The only part that bothers me is: “Today’s culture accommodates esoterica. And the Internet is its curator.”

    I know what you intend by that, yes — we should celebrate the small audience successes of that collection of things on the Internet that are indeed inspirational (and not done for fake clients). However, I feel we can still long for more.

    I am constantly surprised by the power of successful things on the Net. Such things are NOT esoterica.

    I only have numbers for things we’ve done. Here are some: More than six million people saw our Wario page breakup on YouTube. Almost five million people have experience hotel626.com, an audience larger than some of the most successful horror movies of all time.

    I agree with you — these are “popular” successes. Could we expect cab drivers to know about them? Maybe not.

    Could we expect our hippest friends to have heard of them? Yes.

    And most importantly, did they dent the heads of our target audience? Indeed. And that is the ultimate success, in every case.

    I think this is where our views of success vigorously intersect. If that doesn’t sound too explicit.

    Thanks for your thoughtful writing here.

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