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December 11, 2007
Non-Traditional Advertising Needs a Shower, Bad...
 

If you want to befriend / impress / court / seduce someone, you can:

  • beckon to your apartment with a wink and a leer from across the hall.
  • fly a flag with your name on it and hope it gets saluted.
  • stand on your head or juggle to see if you'll get noticed.
  • play at being Romeo from below your Juliet's balcony and sing 'til you're hoarse.

    This is old-fashioned, "traditional" advertising.

    And being advertising, 99% of it stinks, bad.

    No matter what you feel about "traditional" advertising, be glad it tends to keep its distance.

    It was, and still is, easy to ignore, flip past, shut out, and turn off.

    But so often,"non-traditional" advertising, (with all the urgency of its step-sister, sales promotion), gets right in our face. Up clooooose.

    It seeks to interrupt our immediate view, fills our eyes with yet another logo, a come-on, a demand for an e-mail or mobile number, an "event" or happening where once was virgin sidewalk, rooftop, building, an actual person in the street, vehicle or media, now all seems soaked with a sales or brand message. It waves its hand in our face and presents a life where every square inch seems up for sale, and follows us wherever we go.

    This resultant, ever-increasing encroachment creates a deeper hardness, coldness, numbness and ennui in our fellow human beings to our work, ever-escalating the stakes to get attention, inform, educate, inspire and offer the sale.

    Please note, I am not against "non-traditional" marketing. The old and the new approaches, to date, seem to share the same depressing ratio of awful over beautiful work. Plus ça change, plus c'est la méme chose.

    But the new viral / guerrilla / experiential marketing, because of its very desire to get closer to us, has a unique requirement. It should be aware of the demands of intimacy.

    Don't shout. Don't act like a jerk. Don't smell so bad.

    Remember: Shouting works at a distance. Handstands and wheelies, fire-eating and chain-saw juggling work well at a distance. Up-close is perfect for whispers, hugs, kisses and the hushed silence of true lovers.

    So, the closer you want to get to a human being, make sure your message, your creative, your campaign strategy understands the nature of intimacy. I offer a bar of soap to anyone needing a wash.


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As a strategist, writer, designer, producer, director, actor, musician, performer, teacher, trainer and speaker, creative marketing was a potentially ideal career for Paul. Yet after years of winning dozens of global creativity awards with various agencies, Paul gave up the awards pursuit and became a professional human being.

Paul launched the1101experiment in 2001, focusing on bringing top-level strategy, creativity and multi-dimensional success to global brands, but with an added emphasis on positive ethical and social opportunities. Paul's thinking has been published worldwide and has predicted many global cultural shifts long before they happened. 
Paul leads a mastermind network of friends, colleagues and multi-talented professionals from around the world who are strategists, writers, artists, web, social and interactive specialists, who are involved on all client work.
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