This is a lovely presentation by @saneel, media designer and charming man about BBH NY, about how the structure of the advertising industry has evolved, broken into elements in the name of efficiencies, and is now trying to re-constitute itself in relation to a world that is changing faster and faster.
Because of, like, digital and that.
The delicious intricacies of digital platforms, channels and tactics are a crucial element to understand for, well, absolutely everyone, because they are the principle determinants of change in our world, and industry.
BUT we should also remember to take a step back and understand that before the ideas, there must be an understanding of what the ideas are for in the first place, what they are supposed to do, how they interact with messy things like culture and the predictably irrational behavior of human beings, and how all of that makes money for clients, to provide the return on their marketing investment.
Fortunately, there is an excellent course that can help with this, run by the IPA in the UK: an MBA of brands, theory, history, practice and the future.
I fundamentally believe that education is a good thing. [Despite using a split infinitive. You need to know rules to break them for effect.]
Advertising is, in some ways, an amateur profession, if you will allow the oxymoron.
There are no exams to pass, no entry requirements, no barriers to admission.
This is why, I suspect, lawyers and accountants are taken more seriously by grown-ups who run businesses.
This is unfortunate because the commercial value of creativity is hard to overestimate.
Structured on the job training is vital and helpful but often, inevitably, focuses on the HOW, not the WHYS.
This leads to us thinking that the work of agencies is to create advertising.
But, why would anyone want advertising, in and of itself?
Advertising is a means, not an end.
The way it works is mysterious and complicated.
But there are lots of things we do know, from looking back at 50 years of case studies.
And how advertising seem to create price elasticity of demand better than it increases loyalty.
I was privileged to take IPA EXCELLENCE DIPLOMA in its very first year, and it would be hard to overestimate the impact it has had on me.
Wilsh has written an excellent write up of it here - go and have a look.
And then email [email protected] and get some details about the course.
But take Wilsh's satirical warning seriously - once you know something you cannot un-know it.
So you may find yourself, from here on in, asking lots of annoying questions, and wondering why other people aren't asking them as well.
"It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question."
John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism (1863)