The Timelessness of Craft in an ever-changing Modern Marketing World


Let’s get one thing straight.

I am no Luddite. And I don’t long for the “good old days” of advertising.

But I do appreciate great ideas, sublime copywriting, and beautiful art direction. And just because we have 15 different media channels to bring a brand to life today, that is no excuse to just check the box with mediocre ideas and less-than-inspired copy and art direction.

“But we live in a fast-paced, always-on, digital world! We need to be quick and nimble with our ideas and executions,” some will cry – and I agree.


But let's not forget that touch points need to touch people.


As marketers and advertising pros, just because we have more ways and instant means to reach people, that doesn’t mean people will pay more attention to what we have to say. It’s like in the past when people would use commercial breaks to go to the kitchen or hit the loo; just because we are in peoples’ faces more does not mean they will pay attention to us more.

Far too often, I see modern media plans merely checking the box. We need something on Instagram, and don’t forget Twitter and Facebook…but wait, where’s our page takeover?! Don’t get me wrong, your brand needs to be there, but it needs to be there in meaningful ways.

We still need big, simple ideas that are beautifully executed and connect with people – making them stop and actually pay attention. And this is true regardless of whether it’s a 140 character tweet or a $400,000 TV spot.

After all, as agencies, that’s what we get paid for today – to help brands connect with people whenever and wherever they are. And if we put less importance or less craft into media placements that don’t seem worth the effort, well, then the people we are trying to reach won’t put effort into paying attention as well.

Because contrary to popular belief, people love brands and advertising. With one small caveat, of course: it needs to be good. No matter where it appears.

Yes, all the tools at our disposal as modern marketers are fantastic. And new ones will keep popping up faster than we can say “data visualization.” In fact, there will probably be a new way to reach people before you finish reading this post.

However, they are in no way a substitute for brilliant, creative minds and marketing practitioners. You know, the women and men who roam the halls of agencies and marketing departments who have that special ability to distill a brand down to a simple, powerful idea and then execute it flawlessly.

While it’s true that advertising has changed for forever, I argue that advertising also hasn’t changed at all – because great ideas executed brilliantly will always rule the day.



March 6, 2020
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