In the United States yesterday, an alleged murderess was acquitted of killing her child. That opened up the floodgates on Facebook and other "tabloids." It was all people are talking about. Last week I saw Errol Morris' new movie "Tabloid," which documented the "stranger than fiction" doings of alleged kidnapper Joyce McKinney and the attendant media frenzy.
What struck me about both of these cases is that I had heard not a thing about them. I suppose because I regarded them as tabloid gossip, side-shows that crowd out real news, neither case made it onto my radar screen.
It occurred to me watching a bit of television last night that in advertising we have a similar situation. The airwaves are clogged with women singing to Swiffer mops or rubbing their wrists with arthritis pain. What appears on TV--real advertising--has little to do with that strange parallel universe that appears in awards shows.
What we've constructed in life and in our industry is an Empire of Illusion. This is a state where an elite few govern. These elites don't work on things like mops or sale ads. They work on things you never see. Then they fly to conferences where they speak to other members in their closed circle. Then they judge their own work in awards shows.
When I was a kid I had some friends who would play wiffle ball in a park around my house with an oversized bat that looked like a caveman's club. They could swat the ball a mile with that mallet. But there was no correlation to hitting with that bat and hitting with a real bat.
I suppose it made them feel good and powerful.
But it was fundamentally meaningless.