Do you look at ads? I do.

I check them out in magazines, newspapers (what’s left of them), television and when I’m somewhere they haven’t outlawed outdoor, I check them out too.

I also look at the annuals, CA, Art Directors and One Show.

What I wonder is, where the heck do all the great ads in the annuals run? They sure aren’t out there for Joe Public to see – at least in the media I get hold of. They seem pretty flat. And by flat, I mean they lack an idea or concept. Rarely do I see an ad any more that turns a phrase, does a word play that says something positive about the product or service while making me smile, or nod in agreement.

This isn’t breaking news here. It started back in the 80’s and in my mind seems to be drifting back into the 50’s. I think we once called it hitting you over the head with a 2 x 4; and the idea that the American public is stuck about 8th grade… Sorry. I always did, and still do think people like a solid idea that makes them think, smile and react.

It’s interesting, because I see much better stuff being done by the kids in art school! Perhaps it’s because they aren’t burdened by research and focus groups and fear. (Don’t get me wrong research people. There is a time and a place for research. Just let it be useful information, not a dictate to creative solutions). What happens to those kids and their great work once they get out of school?

Actually I know the answer to that question because I’ve been there. I think it would really be refreshing to see and hear advertising that isn’t just shocking for shock sake, loud for the sake of noise and tasteful rather than gaudy or crass. Not all comedians make you laugh with every other word an “F” bomb.

That’s what I think. What about you?