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Let's Be Honest: Seinfeld Didn't Roast Advertising
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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I am sure that every advertising professional probably saw or heard of the Jerry Seinfeld speech during his CLIO ad awards speech. 

Hopefully, as the rest of the people are aware, it seems that Seinfeld's speech wasn't roasting advertising.

At least, that's how it sounded.

Watch the video below and hopefully you'll hear what we heard.

Even the Forbes article we read mentioned the quote, "In between seeing the commercial and owning the thing, I'm happy."

So there is a discrepancy once the honeymoon is over. It's not the advertising; it's the product. Advertising the promise of satisfaction isn't the issue; it's the fact that the good or service being offered doesn't live up to the advertising.

Is that advertising's fault? No, it's certainly not.

It is one of the issues that advertisers and marketers have been talking about for a very long time. A good product is only helped with good advertising. Good advertising only makes a bad product fail faster.

No marketer should be offended if a business lops off some of the marketing budget in order to boost product development and research. If the business or organization is readily investing in creating goods and services that satisfy the needs and wants of their customers, then the money in product development is working twice: making a good product and showing the good product through advertising.

Seinfeld's "I love advertising because I love lying" doesn't mean that advertising is lying, it is that the product fails to deliver upon the advertising message that was received.

Also, we know that the media crowd is not full of dumb people. At least, not all of them are dumb. We are surprised that many of our own advertising colleagues were so readily in agreement that Seinfeld "totally roasted" the advertising industry, when — though he may have meant to — he didn't. The angst is misdirected. Why not put fire under the feet of the executives that actually make the products?

Ah yes, we know — because advertising is such an easy target. Advertising is such the hated machine, why direct the blame to the real people responsible when we can build our page hits and boost our online ad revenue while backing up garbage?


Seinfeld was right. Something needs to change that keeps people happy after the consumer receives the product. But advertising, for once this time, is not the culprit. At least give our work credit when credit is due.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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