Lately I've written two posts that enumerate some things I hate. Mostly I wrote those posts because I was stuck and couldn't get more complete thoughts together; so until I did I used these lists as a holding pattern of thoughts. I knew something was bugging me, something I really abhor, but I couldn't put my finger on it so I wrote around it until my thoughts coalesced.
Well, consider me congealed.
This is a simple business populated by people who try to make it difficult. What I hate more than anything is complication and complicators.
The account on which I toil is engaged in a "re-boot." We are looking at who the "brand is." What are our strengths, weaknesses, permissions to believe, unique selling propositions, competitive set and so on.
The people who do this for a living have been doing it for nearly seven weeks now. They have come up with 72 powerpoint slides that parse the problem into more sections than an artichoke has leaves. What they haven't done, despite all their mental peregrinations, is tell me anything common sense didn't reveal seven weeks earlier. What's more, they haven't found anything interesting. Anything differentiating. Anything that could make someone laugh or cry. Or even care.
What they've done so far is determine what the problem is.
But advertising isn't just about problems. We should come up with solutions. (Years ago I heard the president of Mercedes-Benz say, "a car should make you feel ten pounds lighter and ten years younger." That's a solution. Talking about a carburetor isn't.
I hate to engage in reductio ad absurdum, but sometimes you have to.
I know some people who've been charged with selling a computer that costs two to three times as much as its competition and in large measure isn't compatible with that competition.
They're fucked, correct? How do you, in this impecunious era, sell a more expensive, less useful machine?
Ask the folks who sell Macs.
Or, to borrow a mantra from a recent IBM campaign: Stop talking. Start doing.
So here's my point to complicators.
99% of all problems go away when you do something.
It doesn't have to be perfect. Just make it as good as you can.
But do something.