An interesting article ran in Ad Age the other day. There was a study conducted by McCann to determine if the general consumer actually likes advertising. And guess what? Yes. They do. Not only do those surveyed like advertising, many claim to love it. But ad agency employees were a part of the study as well and the findings from our end are pretty sad. It seems that it's us — the people in the ad game — who view ourselves somehow as bad guys.
More than half of us believe that our fellow comrades wish that we were doing something else. We drink too much and suffer from emotional issues, depression and anxiety in particular. In other words, we're all a bunch of Don Drapers, throwing up a facade and bopping through life with never-ending cocktails and a metal strongbox full of big, ugly secrets. At least according to the survey, that's how we see each other.
The consumer, on the other hand, thinks we're pretty cool.
So how's that for a disconnect? And what a relief, too! I, for one, never saw people in the ad industry as such damaged individuals. At least no more damaged than anyone else in a creative field. And as time goes on, I realize that we're no more damaged than anyone else in ANY field. And the consumer appears to back me up.
Almost three-quarters of those surveyed not only feel positive about advertising as a profession but they also feel good about the ads they see around them. I think that's an excellent ratio. Of course we all have ads that turn us off completely. For me it's that Clorox bleach spot where the little boy poops in the tub. Do kids really do that?
I'm sure you have your favorite ads to hate as well. But love it or hate it, over half of the people surveyed like the fact that advertising gives them something to talk about. There's the entertainment factor, which explains why so many of us are in it, I think. To entertain the consumer with our brilliant ideas, right? Well, I am very happy to report that the majority of people appreciate our efforts. They may not believe all that we tell them but they like our delivery. Unfortunately, it's those in the industry who believe that advertising is a "less than" profession and our heyday is long over. We're the culprits. It's US. Ummm...scratch that. It's THEM. Not us. I'm not a part of that group. I've never been down on us for what we do. And while advertising won't cure cancer or save the world, not once have I ever felt passe or irrelevant. Never have I felt like the bad guy. Have you?