Irrelevant Award-Chasers

Jeff Goodby, pilot of the mighty Goodby, Silverstein & Partners advertising agency has rightly said of the advertising industry:

“We’ve created a system that rewards work that is increasingly unknown to anyone outside the business. We have become connoisseurs of esoterica. And in the process, we’re becoming more about us, and less about changing the world. We are becoming irrelevant award-chasers. Sure, some of the best things we make nowadays are internet experiences with necessarily specific, limited audiences — that cab driver might not be expected to see them. But for the ones I’m talking about, the only intended audience is, well, us…”

Having just judged the Art Directors Club of Denver‘s annual award show with some bigtime judges, even one from Goodby (winners announced September 25), I’ve seen this first hand. It came up. And when I went to vote for best in show, I couldn’t throw my vote around lightly. It was ultimately a vote away from the obscure reference and toward a more inclusive, understandable message without ignoring the cultural cost of such a decision. Like ‘less is more’, clarity often finds the win in any situation, regardless of niche, metaphysics, or content of the message.

The rest of the Ad Age article…[Click the ‘continue reading’ link below}

can be found here.

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