Aren't artistic folks involved?

It has long been debated whether advertising, branding, and design creatives are really in tune with the audience that receives their work. "There always seems to be an obsession and fear of not being in touch with the real world, which is a healthy fear to make sure we stay anchored in reality," says Damien Le Castrec, the newly appointed chief strategy officer at Droga5.

This fear is not unfounded. "When you turn on the TV and watch the ads, are these things really going to reach people? 95% of them don't," he says. "The best work always understands people and people," he adds, referring to a broader cultural outcome like Michaela Coel's acclaimed BBC series "I Can Destroy You" is an example of this.

Back in Adland: "We read research, but we don't understand people and can't talk to them." We know labels and big data points, we know that everything is changing and new platforms, but we don't understand the people behind these words. It has always been like this – the people who got this did the right job. The people who didn't get it did the shit. And now it's truer because it's harder – you can do so much more wrong than you could have done before. "

Most people who work in the advertising and design industries are familiar with the usual debates surrounding the work that won top industry awards. The typical argument is that creative people do work that deserves respect or applause from their peers, but achieves little beyond their own circles.


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