How the Man Men lost the plot which rung a few bells for me. It starts off with ad man Jeff Goodby's observation that cabbies used to know about our ads and what we did, when the Saatchis were as big as Persil and 'we made famous stuff, and we made stuff famous.' The author poses the question: has the ad industry, through 'embracing the digital gospel... lost sight of what made it valuable in the first place?'
The internet has changed how the game is played, but certain rules still seem to hold. Mass marketing works. Fame works. Emotion works. And so does a long-term coherence in the sum total of what a brand says and does. All of these work to inject the brand into what the author calls 'the cultural bloodstream' - so that those cabbies know about the ads.
Reading through, it did strike me that in the past, we also had a mass of cheap, throwaway ads that even a member of the general public could afford and compose themselves. They were called small ads. But in those days, small ads didn't frighten the industry, neither did we try and use them for our clients, except in cases where we were being clever and disruptive and ironic. We concentrated on our skills, our talents, what we knew how to do.
We had big ideas, we used big, bold media that we knew would generate emotion and build fame.
Surely there is a parallel here?