Monday, 22 September 2014

Rebel, rebel?

In this blog post from Contagious, Sam Ball of Lean Mean Fighting Machine introduces the recently-published book about the future of the UK advertising industry, entitled Hacker, Maker, Teacher, Thief.

Ball's main point is that the creative industries are becoming more and more conformist, a tendency that ties in with the increased use of pre-testing, ratings and other research that claims to be predictive of market success. Rather than taking a risk on something new and innovative, creative departments don't want to rock the boat and stick to tried and tested formulae.

And when one looks at advertising and other creative industries for signs of rebellion, one sees only a sort of sanitised version, a plastic toytown rebellion, not the real thing. In my son's school book, Christina Aguilera is named a singer of protest songs in the same breath as Bob Dylan. Protesting all the way to the bank, if you ask me.

And advertising? Well, Puma have decided to "call all Troublemakers" in their Forever Faster campaign. I can't say hand on heart that Mario Balotelli and chums are really up there for me, breaking boundaries and rules like the rebels of old:

Beyond this kind of bland, ersatz rebellion, where are the brands and creative that is really challenging the status quo? My worry is that the more we rely on the safety net of database norms derived from the past, the less likely we'll be to fly.

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