Filed under: Comment
I once got 2% in a maths exam.
I remember the teacher – Mrs Kirk – handing out the papers to the class in order of score.
I knew I was in trouble when she handed Andrew Cooney his paper before me, because he couldn’t even count how many fingers he had.
And don’t get me started on fractions.
I seriously believe I could train to be a World class surgeon before I could work out what 3/5 + 7/8 would be.
Maybe this explains why of all the things said at a conference I was at last week, the bit that stuck in my mind was this:
A bat & a ball costs $1.10.
The bat costs $1 more than the ball.
How much does the bat cost?
Well to be honest, it wasn’t that, it was the answer of that.
To be fair, I apparently joined a long list of people who got the wrong answer – including economists, mathematicians and accountants – when I said [fortunately, not out loud] that the bat would cost $1 and the ball would be 10 cents … however I probably was alone in taking 30 odd minutes of hardcore thought to work out exactly why I was wrong and why the answer he gave [The bat = $1.05 / the ball = $0.05] was right.
Of course to rub salt in the wounds, when I asked my 78 year old Mum the same question, she answered it correctly in about 12/100ths of a second [about the only fraction I can understand] however it got me thinking how this brainfucking [or to you lot, very simple] question managed to get my total and undivided attention for about 30 odd minutes whereas most advertising loses my focus even before their piddly 30 seconds are up.
Too much in adland is about spoon feeding.
There’s this attitude that if you have to think, you will lose their interest.
But as I once said to SONY, doing ads like Mr Bean might make them easy for people to watch, but it doesn’t mean they will spend $5000 on one of their tellys … infact, if anything, it might put them off because who the fuck would trust Mr Bean to make something of value and quality?
Thinking is not a negative.
Challenging needn’t be alienating.
There is a major difference between engagement and observation and while I am not suggesting all communication should feature maths equations or detailed analysis on the cutting qualities of a Gillette Mach 3 blade [or whatever number they’re up to], treating people as if they’re drooling messes in an old folks home isn’t doing much either … but then the measure of success for so many in marketing and advertising today isn’t about what the communication makes people think and do, it’s about how many ‘numbers’ they can say it reached, even if the audience they exposed their driveling mess to, were as aware of what was going on as the zombie-masses featured in the opening scenes of Shaun Of The Dead.
54 Comments so far
Leave a comment