Is Advertising Loosing its Magic
This perennial and somewhat fashionable question about advertising’s existence has now begun to miff me. Life always looks good in retrospect. There’s something about our past that always makes it nostalgic. Ever wondered why nostalgia is always positive? Negative nostalgia is an oxymoron, may be because yesterday always appears in soft focus. Every generation feels that things have only degraded over time. Why is it that the Golden Age is always spoken of in the past tense, why couldn’t the Golden Age be ahead of us? There’s something about the construct of our collective psyche, which assumes that the world at large gets sullied over time and loses its special abilities and deep qualities just as human beings did when they lost the paradise.
I am therefore, skeptical about this constant self-evaluation of advertising as an industry – the perennial question of degradation of ideas, talent, client relationships and life at large in this industry. Would it be absolutely blasphemous to suggest that some of the executions and forms used in advertising today are far better than our yesteryears? That the complexities of problems that advertising today solves are far higher than yesteryears. That despite all the cribs about talent, there are some absolutely fantastic youngsters who are around in this industry? That the industry overall is still growing at a healthy pace and giving birth to startups who have surprised themselves by their success.
My hypothesis is that if we were to replace advertising with any other industry in the above question, it would still be a valid one. Any industry at any point in time can ask itself if it’s losing it’s magic – consulting, finance, aviation, journalism and so on. I think amongst most other industries, we are amongst the few who are always on the quest for the new. We are always on the look out for the most innovative ways of solving problems. This nature of our industry will ensure that it always stays fresh and if I may say so – magical.
Of course not everything is right with advertising the way it is today, but that could apply to pretty much everything else. The industry needs to fix its issues and keep moving ahead. My argument is that focusing on our positives, celebrating what’s good about us will give us more impetus than questions of self-doubt. Because if advertising doesn’t have magic then I wonder who really does?