The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Entertainment Is Not Optional …
November 2, 2011, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

When I started in adland, Steve Henry once barked something at me that still stays with me to this day:

“If you want people to do something, you have to entertain them. That’s the trade”.

He was right.

I am seeing way too much advertising – whether it’s new age digital experiential shit or old fashioned TVC’s – that has had all the energy and life sucked out of it, replaced with contrived seriousness or the illusion of luxury.

Please don’t confuse what I’m saying as validation for the other type of communication being made … the sponsored [shit] joke.

Oh no.

Spending a fuckload of cash to bring some bad joke to life just so you can put your logo on the end and pretend you’re popular isn’t right either.

[Are you hearing me beer companies!? Jesus, at least do something original]

As I’ve said many times, we’re in the ‘commercial creativity’ business.

That’s 2 words, not one … and they have to be read together, not with a fullstop inbetween.

That means what we do has got to fulfill a bunch of criteria.

At it’s heart it has to encourage people to want to do what your clients brand needs them to do … but rather than brainwash, bore or bully them into it … it has to be done in a way that not only makes them think, be interested and excited – it has to done in a way that makes them want to be part of something.

Sure it’s difficult. Sure it doesn’t always work. Sure it doesn’t mean everything has to be over-the-top. But as people only do stuff that is in their interests, not the brands [which is why we are supposed to have planners!] we have to make sure we do things they notice, are interested in and will care about … and that is the power of entertainment.

Few people want to watch ads – at least those not in the industry.

Few people want to be treated like an idiot or a child at school.

Few people care about helping a companies shareholders.

But part of our job is to make people give a damn.

Wake them up.

Get them interested.

Encourage them to think and hopefully do something different.

And that is why entertainment [with purpose] is so important because as Steve said [read: shouted] if you’re going to interrupt people’s lives, you better do it in a way that makes that interruption worth while … make that moment stay with them for far longer than the specific interaction … and that’s not going to happen if you approach every interaction with either the overt seriousness of a companies ego or the contrived silliness of a company that has nothing meaningful to say.

We need to take leaps.

We need to push boundaries.

We need to press cultural buttons.

Not for creatives sake, but for commercial effectiveness’ sake … and any planner, suit or client who fails to get this is fundamentally missing the point of what we do, what we can do and what moves a huge proportion of society.

Wow, all this just to justify showing the best wrestling video of all time …


42 Comments so far
Leave a comment

you forgot to add the end to steves quote.

“or you can buy the little whores attention and fake loyalty with incentives and offers. little bitches.”

Comment by andy@cynic

You are getting yourself mixed up with Steve again Andy.

Comment by Rob

your fucking posts are becoming serious campbell. well serious by your fucking standards. what the fuck is going on.

Comment by andy@cynic

It must be a phase I’m going through … however like puberty, it won’t last for long.

Comment by Rob

“New age digital experiential shit.” Nice.

Comment by DH

You’ll love the fact that I’m having a bitch about this very subject here:

Comment by Rob

another fucking jolly? fuck me campbell, who do you think you are, a member of the royal fucking family.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well I do like Queen.

Comment by Rob

thats the most fucking pathetic answer ive ever read campbell. even from you.

Comment by andy@cynic

then youre going off on one about commercial creativity. fucking hell campbell, hasnt any fucker told you you work in head in the fucking clouds adland? pull yourfuckingself together.

Comment by andy@cynic

I am a responsible father and have no idea what you are talking about

Comment by northern

That video is awesome. Best thing this blog has ever put out.

Comment by Billy Whizz

But then I never read the posts.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I’m the opposite of those people who say they only read playboy for the articles. I’m here for the tits.

Comment by Billy Whizz

except the fucking ripe tits on this blog are the planners.

and i always thought you were more of a hussler man than playboy. or sweet 18. or grannies who like it hard.

Comment by andy@cynic

I subscribe to then all. I’m not cheap like northern an his youporn addiction.

Comment by Billy Whizz

you might not be cheap but you are fucking stupid when you pay for lustful grannies when its free on youporn. or so ive been fucking told.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’m assuming you were told by Northern?

Comment by Rob

Why the fuck did my last comment appear in the wrong place?

Comment by northern

Like I said, I’m a responsible Dad, I have no idea what you’re on about

Comment by northern

Maybe you were watching some films on your favourite website and your ability to concentrate was impacted.


Comment by Rob

Sleep bloody deprivation note this Andy you’ll soon be even grumpier

Comment by Northern

He’ll have ‘help’. And not just his wife.

Boom Tish.

Ta-ra …

Comment by Rob

i did my bit when i gave my wife the best fucking 9 minutes and 27 seconds of her entire fucking life. sting might do tantric bollocks but i do sheer fucking magic.

baby piss and shit at 3am is now her job. or i can move to the money pit in canada to get away from it all. on second fucking thoughts……

Comment by andy@cynic

whoever says wrestling is fake doesnt know the fuck what theyre talking about. its not fake wrestling, its real bad standup.

Comment by andy@cynic

wheres pete and his oh so fucking serious comment? campbells even written a post that begs for it unlike the ones about making cars and best friends dicks.

Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t know where Pete is so I will take his place.
Saying communication needs to be entertaining is similar to saying adland needs to help clients business grow. Those sorts of statements should be unnecessary to verbalise but it is disappointingly obvious they need to be as I am surrounded by a sea of increasingly avant garde, expensively filmed jokes or a relentless stream of overly serious, contrived corporate ego messages crammed in to 30 second nuggets.
It’s an important post to write Robert but I am hoping you are preaching to the converted on here. There was one piece of new news for me in this post and that is that Steve Henry talked to you about work when I was under the impression all he ever did was tell you off for whatever was the latest episode of mischief that you had executed.

Comment by George

what the fuck is happening to you? you never fucking used to make a single fucking comment and now theres no fucking stopping you. and theyre long. campbell long. sort yourself out auntie. part of the reason i semi liked you was because you were the opposite to campbell in so many fucking ways. dont blow it now.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have to say I’m in agreement with Andy on this George – you are writing a lot more posts with a lot more words.

I take it the family are still visiting the grandparents and you’re sat at home bored, eating 3 day old pizza, slumped over the computer.

And for the record, Mr Henry liked me. Unfortunately he liked me most when I was out of his sight.

Comment by Rob

Thank you George, there’s not point adding anything else.

Comment by Pete

at least youre not adding to the pile of planner shit fucking up the air pete. makes a fucking change.

Comment by andy@cynic

That video is really rather good.

Comment by George

Yep. As I said in the comment above. Bored. Ha!

Comment by Rob

As George states, this view should not even require discussion however for the quote alone, it is a good post to read.

Comment by Lee Hill

If I remember correctly, my first comment on this blog was a rant about this very subject. Good morning.

Comment by Marcus

I think it was. Fuck me, you either have the memory of an elephant or are incredibly lonely. I think I might of had a rant at you about it … mainly because I thought you were saying entertainment is all that matters, only to learn you were much smarter than that.

Comment by Rob

I thought you were being a shallow ad fool. I am a lonely idiot with an excellent memory.

Comment by Marcus

Now you know I’m just shallow and a fool.

Comment by Rob

your first impressions are bang fucking on marcus. wish i had your skill when i met the bastard. and # 1 and 2.

Comment by andy@cynic

That video is mad… mad.
Good post too

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Xfactor is classed as entertainment and that makes me want to slit my eyelids so your theory is fucked.

Comment by Billy Whizz

And Steve Henry’s. Where is he now? That’s what happens when you have theories that justify Simon Cowell.

Comment by Billy Whizz

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